Thursday, June 8 was International #NASHDay 2023 and the podcast hosted a special session featuring patient advocates Gina Villiotti Madison, Marko Korenjak and Michael Betel. With co-hosts Louise Campbell and Roger Green, the group shares both a positive and sobering discussion around the Fatty Liver public health epidemic and its impact on younger generations now and into the imminent future.
Roger starts this conversation by asking the panel about other groups and organizations each is working to reach in an effort to increase education and awareness. The first observations revolve around efforts in the UK to take FibroScan into the public domain based on NHS funding of community centers and the NICE guidance about the economic value of FibroScan use outside of the specialist clinics and in primary settings. Louise believes that this will improve frontline patient education with the FibroScan scores and offer an opportunity to educate and motivate people who want to know their liver health. She mentions Naim Alkhouri’s discussion of FibroScan as the fifth vital sign in his discussion with Donna Cryer as part of International #NASHDay. Louise then amplifies on her dialogs and opportunities she sees with patients she scans today. Roger asks about the socioeconomic status of the people she scans. She notes that her patients are higher in socioeconomic status and patients who are lower on socioeconomic status tend to have more disease. She questions whether this is solely about diet or also about the far broader opportunities that higher socioeconomic status patients have to active lifestyles. Gina comments that she encounters lots of people who are unaware of the true caloric contents of their diets, especially in terms of sugar intake. She also notes that ultra-processed foods are far more affordable than organic fresh produce, for example. Eventually, Gina discusses how sugar in drinks can contribute to a public health epidemic unrecognized by many parents. As the conversation winds down, Roger asks Marko about the different activities he sees in the 30 EU countries that ELPA represents. He talks about a walking and learning program in Cyprus among other activities. Finally, he pinpoints the ages between 18 to 35 as the key years to adopt good habits.
This is a particularly important and moving episode that captures a range of topics pertinent to the patient perspective and, more broadly, stepping up to NASH. If you have questions or interest around the International #NASHDay 2023, we kindly ask that you submit reviews wherever you download our discussions. Alternatively, you can write to us directly at questions@SurfingNASH.com. We welcome all stories around how you and your community stepped up to NASH this year and look forward to broadening the discourse.
Stay Safe and Surf On!
This episode was generously sponsored by Madrigal Pharmaceuticals.
Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pursuing novel therapeutics for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a liver disease with high unmet medical need. Madrigal’s lead candidate, resmetirom, is a once daily, oral, thyroid hormone receptor (THR)-β selective agonist designed to target key underlying causes of NASH in the liver. For more information, visit www.madrigalpharma.com.