Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Saturday said that a programme would be developed soon to provide free drugs for Hepatitis B. The minister announced this on Friday at the 27th Annual Conference of the Asian-Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL). The five-day event, which began on March 14, was organised by the Asia Pacific Association for Study of Liver and Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS).
The minister spoke about the implementation of the Hepatitis-C programme, and said availability of free drugs against the disease has been finalised and would be launched very soon across the country, according to a ILBS statement. “A full programme on Hepatitis-B will be soon developed with availability of free drugs against this deadly virus,” he said. The minister also announced free vaccination against Hepatitis B for all health care workers across India.
Nadda also said liver diseases should be given greater significance and will be included in the non-communicable diseases programme in the near future. One of the major highlights of the conference included treatment options for liver cancer, the second commonest cause of cancer deaths worldwide.
It is also one of the fastest growing cancers and the only viable treatment is liver transplantation, the statement said. Over 3,000 delegates from more than 50 countries are attending the event.