FIRST EVER UK SURVEY OF PATIENT EXPERIENCES WITH HEPATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY SHOWS THE NEED TO IMPROVE DIAGNOSIS AND THE NEED TO REDUCE HOSPITALISATIONS FOR THESE PATIENTS
LONDON, UK, Tuesday 17 March 07.00 GMT – A recent survey* commissioned by the British Liver Trust and Liver4Life supported with an unrestricted educational grant from Norgine, shows that out of 33 anonymous respondents, over half had been hospitalised, or seen their loved one hospitalised in the previous 12 months as a result of a hepatic encephalopathy episode. One in three had been hospitalised on multiple occasions, some even more than six times in one year. The average length of stay in hospital for most patients (70%) was up to 10 days. For some (12%) a typical hospital stay was equivalent to a month or more.
As hepatic encephalopathy affects patients in many different ways, spotting the symptoms can be challenging, but the survey points to some obvious tell-tale signs that should be looked out for. Erratic sleep patterns, forgetfulness and poor concentration were the most commonly reported symptoms, affecting at least 80% of patients. Personality or mood changes, memory loss, difficulty speaking or writing were also reported by more than half the respondents. Other symptoms were extreme anxiety, bizarre behaviour and seizures.
Consultant hepatologist, Dr Richard Aspinall, trustee and medical advisor to Liver4Life commented, “These findings really drive home the significant impact of HE on patients, families and the healthcare system. This is becoming worse as the incidence of liver disease and cirrhosis continues to grow,” said. “The results are telling us that we have to get better at detecting and managing encephalopathy. It’s vital that we raise awareness of the condition and improve access to effective therapy.”
Dr Sharmila Kar, Medical Director UK & Republic of Ireland, Norgine commented, “Norgine is committed to improving the lives of patients suffering from this is serious and potentially life-threatening neuropsychiatric condition associated with liver disease that affects around 10,000 patient in the UK. Hepatic encephalopathy has the highest mortality rate of any complication of cirrhosis, yet has received little attention. This survey highlights the need to improve diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy as there is currently no cure apart from liver transplantation.”
Notes to Editors
About the survey
* Survey was conducted in England, Scotland and Wales.
Norgine is a European specialist pharmaceutical company that has been established for over 100 years. Norgine provides expertise and ‘know how’ in Europe to develop, manufacture and market products that offer real value to healthcare professionals, payers and patients. Norgine’s approach and infrastructure is integrated and focused upon ensuring that Norgine wins partnership opportunities for growth. Norgine is headquartered in the Netherlands and its global operations are based in Amsterdam and in Harefield, UK. Norgine owns an R&D site in Hengoed, Wales and two manufacturing sites, one in Hengoed, Wales and one in Dreux, France. For more information, please visit www.norgine.com. In 2012, Norgine established a complementary business Norgine Ventures, supporting innovative healthcare companies through the provision of debt-like financing in Europe and the US. For more information, please visit www.norgineventures.com.
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About British Liver Trust
The British Liver Trust is an established charity that works to reduce the impact of liver disease throughout the UK. Our lifestyles are having a major impact on our health and life expectancy; people need to know how and why and what they can do to prevent developing a liver condition. The Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign (www.loveyourliver.org.uk) raises awareness of the need for good liver health and provides screening for anyone to assess their risks of developing a liver condition. The British Liver Trust also has information, statistics and reports available on its website to provide up to date information. .
Liver4Life (L4L) is a new and modern charity dedicated to supporting any person affected by a liver condition in the UK. L4L is run by a few individuals passionate about liver health. We all have extensive backgrounds of working in the health and charity sector and most importantly in the liver community. L4L offers support and education, as well as undertaking campaigns on behalf of people with a liver condition, to improve their care, their treatment and their support services. L4L recognises the importance of preventing liver disease and the early detection of a liver condition and liver cancer in the UK. Our absolute priority is supporting liver patients in the UK.
Charlotte Andrews: Mob: +44 (0)7714 061485
Isabelle Jouin: Mob: +44 (0)7714 406372
British Liver Trust
 Norgine data on file 2015. Results of the 2014 survey of patients and carers with hepatic encephalopathy