World Hepatitis Day, which takes places every year on July 28, aims to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis. While annual costs stemming from the disease are massive, hepatitis also provides a successful innovation story, with some health experts even predicting hepatitis C will become a rare disease within the next two decades.
The costs resulting from hepatitis infections place large burdens on society each year. A report found that hepatitis C alone could cost the U.S. health care system $115 billion over the next 10 years. The report estimated that, in the absence of a cure for hepatitis C, more than 350,000 patients would be living with advanced stages of the disease – including 100,000 more with cirrhosis of the liver and 250,000 more patients with end stage liver disease – by 2025. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease is the most common reason for a liver transplant in the United States.