January NASH News
As recognition of fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis(NASH) as a true global health crisis rises the need to collect, curate, and share relevant information in a timely fashion grows as well. The GLI NASH News is intended to meet that need and facilitate collaboration across the emerging NASH Community on a monthly basis.
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GLOBAL LIVER INSTITUTE
GLI CEO, Donna R. Cryer, JD attended the NASH-TAG 2018 meeting in Park City, Utah to hear directly from researchers in academia and industry on the cutting edge of NASH therapy development and to share information about the NASH Council. Her assessment based on insights into multiple clinical development programs is that the field is maturing, but several key issues still need to be resolved: 1) how to manage currently diagnosed patients; 2) which noninvasive diagnostic and staging mechanisms, whether blood or imaging-based, will emerge as the standard; 3) if one drug will be sufficient for most patients or if a combination of therapies with different mechanisms of action will be necessary to demonstrate improvements in outcomes; 4) determining if therapies will be available for only the very sick, e.g decompensated cirrhotic patients or proven appropriate for patients earlier stages of disease.
New Members Spotlight!
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA)
Ralph H Johnson VAMC
Medical University of South Carolina
Tampa General Medical Group
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
Want to be a member? Membership Application Form
NASH Council workgroups will begin meeting in February!
The purpose of the workgroups is to begin collaborating to develop and execute plans to address specific aspects of the fatty liver disease epidemic. These workgroups will hold monthly calls and come together for two whole-body council meetings around DDW and AASLD. The workgroups are listed below with the first meeting’s date and time.
To RSVP for a workgroup and get the workgroup conference number please email NASH@globalliver.org
1. Public Education and Screening
To increase public understanding of NAFLD and NASH
Thursday February 1, 12:00pm EST
2. Physician Education, Diagnosis, & Management
Improve clinician education (pediatric and primary care – specialists) to increase the number of people diagnosed and connected to care
Thursday February 8, 12:00pm EST
3. Patient Education and Support
Provide actionable information and support for diagnosed patients
Thursday February 15, 12:00pm EST
Identify and support policies that facilitate the strategies and objectives of the other working groups (e.g. reimbursement)
Thursday February 22, 12:00pm EST
For more information or to get the workgroup conference number please email NASH@globalliver.org
Fatty Liver Foundation (FLF)
FLF founder Wayne Eskridge presented at NASH-TAG 2018 in Park City, Utah on his successful experience with lifestyle change to reverse NASH. Mr. Eskridge cautioned researchers on the potential ethical conflict inherent in NASH trials between supporting lifestyle change and desiring to quantify change in disease trajectory from the study medication. They note that on average around 20% of patients in the placebo arm improve which can overwhelm the effects of the molecule that most clinical trials are studying. The FLF presentation detailed the effect of lifestyle changes on liver histology and unpublished data of a longitudinal study the FLF is currently running.
In order to address unmet needs related to this disease that deserves a wider exposure, GENFIT has begun to lead a public health initiative title the NASH Education Program, aimed at producing and disseminating essential medical knowledge toward a targeted audience.
Key insights from the first US survey commissioned by the NASH Global Health ObservatoryTM
Intercept Pharmaceuticals conducted and released The NASH TRUTH (Time to Get Real About Liver Health) survey* assessing awareness levels and education gaps regarding NASH and liver health among more than 200 patients diagnosed with NASH, more than 500 healthcare professionals (HCPs) and approximately 500 people representing the American general public.
Despite nearly half of Americans having at least one risk factor for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis,or NASH, a new survey reveals that only 8% are aware of the condition.
For many, co-morbid conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity prove to be a barrier to NASH management, as patients and healthcare professionals place greater focus on these conditions compared to NASH. In fact, the NASH TRUTH survey revealed that nearly half (46%) of NASH
patients spent all or most of their doctor visits talking about other health conditions.
The NASH TRUTH survey also found that many patients (41%) struggle to make the necessary lifestyle changes required when diagnosed with NASH. Nearly 25%of patients surveyed lack clarity about their treatment goals. Possibly contributing to patient uncertainty is the fact that HCPs lack confidence in their ability to diagnose and manage patients. Less than one-in-three HCPs surveyed indicated that they are very confident in their ability to help their patients manage NASH along with their other health conditions. And, alarmingly, many admit to losing track of patients due to the lack of treatment options.
*The NASH TRUTH survey was commissioned by Intercept Pharmaceuticals (March-April 2017). 505 U.S. adults ages 18 and older*, 501 healthcare professionals, including 201 liver specialists, 90 endocrinologists and 210 generalists (PCPs, NPs, PAs), and 222 adult patients diagnosed with NASH were polled. *The results are weighted demographically to be representative of the national population.
For Your Calendar
February 26-27: Global NASH Congress. London, United Kingdom.
April 23-25: 2nd Annual NASH Summit. Boston, MA.
June 12: International NASH Information Day