In an introduction to Fatty Liver in Australia, Louise Campbell is joined by Tony Rahman, Director of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane and Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University. Louise leads this final conversation by highlighting the prospect of imminent drug approvals in the Fatty Liver space.
She asks Tony for impressions on Australia’s positioning to identify its patient population and its ability to distribute limited resources in response to accessing expensive new drugs. Tony describes the approval pathway in Australia and suggests that the ultimate challenge will involve finding what he terms the “hidden cohorts” of patients who would benefit from these drugs. This will take time and money. Louise points to the Predictive Health Intelligence project outlined in S4E5, which sounds promising but will be challenged by Australia’s lack of state-of-the-art electronic records. Tony hopes within the next ten years this can be an area of massive improvement.
The last part of this discussion focuses on the future of Fatty Liver for Australia. Louise asks for what Tony envisions in the next 2-3 years for the field. Tony first highlights optimism around use of semaglutide and other GLP-1s as a major wall of defense. He then looks to the mission of driving education in public health and for hepatology and gastroenterology societies to heavily petition for the fact that NAFLD and NASH is an escalating dilemma in need of addressing now.