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Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;2016:5743521. doi: 10.1155/2016/5743521. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Highlights of the Fourth Canadian Symposium on Hepatitis C: Moving towards a National Action Plan.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4.
Liver Unit, Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada H3T 1J4.
The Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4R4; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4.
Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1L7.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Infection and Immunity, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0W9.
Department of Epidemiology, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada H3A 1A2.
Toronto Western Hospital Liver Center, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 2S8.
Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E1.
Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5E5.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects at least 268,000 Canadians and causes greater disease burden than any other infectious disease in the country. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) have identified HCV-related liver disease as a priority. In 2015, the release of well-tolerated, short course treatments (~12 weeks) able to cure the majority of treated HCV patients revolutionized HCV therapy. However, treatment is extremely costly and puts a significant burden on the Canadian healthcare system. Thus, managing treatment costs and improving treatment engagement in those most in need will be a key challenge. Diagnosis and treatment uptake are currently poor in Canada due to financial, geographical, cultural, and social barriers. The United States, Australia, and Scotland all have National Action Plans to prevent, diagnose, and treat HCV in order to efficiently reduce the burden and costs associated with HCV-related liver disease. The theme of the 4th annual symposium held on Feb 27, 2015, "Strategies to Manage HCV Infection in Canada: Moving towards a National Action Plan," was aimed at identifying strategies to maximize the impact of highly effective therapies to reduce HCV disease burden and ultimately eliminate HCV in Canada.

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