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Alan Franciscus
HCV Advocate

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Marks World Hepatitis Day 2012 with New Grants Focused on Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Patient Empowerment in China and India

Foundation’s Delivering Hope™ program wins Asia’s Best CSR Practices Award
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has awarded four new grants totaling US $1.69 million to improve prevention, care and support of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) in China and India as part of its Delivering Hope™ program. The grants, announced to coincide with World Hepatitis Day on July 28, support initiatives to empower hepatitis patients to take an active role in disease management and advocacy. This focus on patient empowerment recognizes the significant health disparities that exist in these countries but also the progress that has been made to address them through disease awareness efforts and education targeted to the health care community.

China and India together have an estimated 123 million people chronically infected with HBV and 59 million people chronically infected with HCV, accounting for almost 50 percent of all HBV and HCV infections worldwide. The recipients of the new grants – the China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control, the HOPE Initiative, the Liver Foundation West Bengal, and a coalition that includes the United Way of Mumbai, the National Liver Foundation and AmeriCares India – are long-term partners of Delivering Hope™ whose work has produced measurable outcomes to improve awareness, care and support for hepatitis B and C in China and India. The impact of Delivering Hope™ programs in China, in particular, was recognized by CMO Asia with an Asia’s Best CSR Practices Award in the category of Concern for Health during a ceremony on July 20, 2012.

“The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has been working with partners in Asia for the past 10 years, helping mobilize communities to improve the prevention, care and support of hepatitis B and C,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Over the past decade, our focus has evolved from building infrastructure and educating lay health care workers to empowering patients to advocate for improved education, support and services. This evolution is an important signal that, together with our partners in the non-profit and government sectors, we are making important progress in helping to address the needs of people living with hepatitis B and C in communities that are disproportionately impacted by these diseases.”

Organizations and projects receiving support include:
  • China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control will receive US $401,687 over three years to create a hepatitis B and C patient empowerment model to enhance patients’ ability to manage their disease, through the establishment of a network of patient support groups and the development of hepatitis education materials and trainings.
  • HOPE Initiative will receive US $355,694 over three years to create a hepatitis C patient support network, enabling patients to share experiences and support through in-person meetings, a telephone hotline and online forums. The organization also will conduct studies to explore the effectiveness of blood donation and transfusion regulations and advocate for greater awareness, timely screening and affordable treatment with the government through its well-tested school-to-community approach.
  • Liver Foundation West Bengal will receive US $539,035 to develop comprehensive interventions for patients who have hepatitis B or C and comorbid non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease.
  • United Way of Mumbai, the National Liver Foundation and AmeriCares India – three individual Delivering Hope grant recipients – are joining together in efforts targeted at the prevention and care of hepatitis B and C in pregnant women and women of childbearing age, including hepatitis B immunizations, the establishment of patient support groups, and patient and health care provider education. The coalition will receive US $389,464 over two years.
About Chronic Hepatitis B
Chronic hepatitis B is a serious global health issue. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. Worldwide, more than 2 billion people have been in contact with the hepatitis B virus and about 350 million people are chronically infected, resulting in about one million deaths annually from liver cancer, cirrhosis or liver failure.

About Chronic Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C virus infects the liver and is transmitted through direct contact with blood. An estimated 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected. One percent to five percent of people with chronic infection will develop liver cancer. Although there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, it is curable.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Delivering Hope™
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is an independent charitable organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes around the world for patients disproportionately affected by serious disease. The Foundation accomplishes this by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.

Since 2002, Delivering Hope™ has invested and initiated 38 program grants across Asia totaling more than US $9.7 million, specifically 16 grants in mainland China, three in Taiwan, 15 in India and four in Japan.

The Foundation’s support initially focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B and promoting hepatitis B immunization in China. In 2006, the Foundation expanded those efforts to provide broader support for hepatitis B and C awareness, prevention and education, including the adoption of hepatitis B and C interventions and education in public health programs.

Today, the Foundation’s priority hepatitis B and C programs encompass capacity building for health care professionals and lay health workers, disease education and awareness, and sharing of best practices in the prevention and management of hepatitis B and C to inform public health policy.

Beyond hepatitis, the Foundation also focuses on HIV/AIDS in Africa through its SECURE THE FUTURE® program; diabetes in the U.S., China and India through its Together On Diabetes™ program; cancer in Central and Eastern Europe through its Bridging Cancer Care™ program; and mental health in the U.S. through its Mental Health and Well-Being program. For more information, visit the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation online at: http://www.bms.com/foundation/pages/home.aspx.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.


Bristol-Myers Squibb
Frederick J. Egenolf, 609-252-4875

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