Liver disease is now the leading cause of years of working life lost in Europe, after ischaemic heart disease. Liver diseases are generally avoidable or treatable if measures for prevention and early detection are properly implemented; achieving this would reduce premature morbidity and mortality, saving the lives of almost 300,000 people across Europe each year.
EASL is delighted to be relaunching the MEP Friends of the Liver Group. This is an interest group at the European Parliament aiming to raise awareness, put liver health higher on the political agenda, and to make policy recommendations.
Objectives of the meeting
The objectives of the relaunch of the MEP Friends of the Liver European Parliament Interest Group are to:
- Raise awareness about the opportunities to significantly reduce the burden of liver cancer in Europe and discuss the challenges to reverse the negative trends already apparent in some countries with an increasing prevalence of liver disease.
- Discuss these opportunities with EU policymakers in the light of the cancer prevention initiatives highlighted in the Beating Cancer Plan, e.g. promoting targeted liver cancer screening for at high-risk groups such as sex workers, homeless people, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs (PWID), and immigrant populations, patients living with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Raise awareness of the importance of increasing health literacy in disadvantaged groups: social inequalities and the social determinants of health are intimately linked to susceptibility to liver disease, meaning dedicated strategies are needed to engage disadvantaged groups in care.
We extend a warm invitation to a broad range of stakeholders including policymakers, members of the EU parliament, medical associations, primary care physicians, nurses, patients, members of civil society organisations, representatives from patient organisations, medical associations, and other actors involved and interested in the topic of liver health in Europe and beyond.