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Launching a cure for Hepatitis C

by Health Unlimited for Gilead

Summary of work

It is currently estimated that there are 144,000 people living with hepatitis C in England. The cost to the NHS of hepatitis C-related liver disease is £156m resulting from the management of hepatitis C-liver complications and is rising by 10% annually.

Hepatitis C is not a popular subject for consumer journalists - in 2013 coverage in national papers tended to focus on `drug users’ and research projects with few mentions of other patient groups and existing treatments.

As well as media apathy one of the main hurdles to gaining positive coverage about hepatitis C during 2014 was the cost of new products coming to market and lack of understanding about their value to both patients and the NHS – this was also a potential barrier to any NICE/ Scottish Medicines Consortium recommendations.

However, through partnerships with third party organisations and KOLs, Health Unlimited cultivated strong relationships with journalists over an 18-month period to pave the way for the introduction of new treatments.

We secured 282 pieces of media coverage, averaging out to 5 articles per week. 79% of those that mentioned treatments spoke about Gilead-manufactured drugs. The media outreach also contributed to NHS England announcing a hepatitis C Early Access Scheme and the associated reimbursement for Gilead's Sovaldi.

Judges comments

Health Unlimited and Gilead were able to demonstrate how media relations positively impacted the access decisions via the exclusive Channel 4 reports - a rare achievement.


Liver disease: Today’s complacency, tomorrow’s catastrophe - by Paradigm Communications and Trio Health for The Hepatitis C Trust


Creating a paradigm shift in cardiology – breaking barriers for a “Cinderella Syndrome” - by Aurora for Novartis

Care, Consistency, Context and Control: Communicating the results of UK health technology appraisals for Selincro® - by Clark Health Communications for Lundbeck UK Ltd

Global burden of depression - by Edelman for The Economist Events

Launching a cure for Hepatitis C - by Health Unlimited for Gilead

The greatest team in the world - by Red Consultancy for NHS Blood and Transplant

Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

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