Co-founder and CEO Wayne Eskridge highlights concerns about the underestimation of NASH impact and implications for obeticholic acid and resmetirom
April 28, 2023; Boise, IDAHO — Wayne Eskridge, Co-Founder and CEO of the Fatty Liver Foundation (FLF), is urging a re-evaluation of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) evidence report on obeticholic acid and resmetirom for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Eskridge, diagnosed with liver disease in 2010 and cirrhosis in 2015, established FLF to support approximately 20,000 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its progressive stage, NASH.
Eskridge expressed his concerns, stating, "The historical standard of care often neglected early-stage NASH, and the dismissive view that asymptomatic disease is benign. It is crucial to recognize the real risks of NASH, as F1 NASH is more hazardous than diabetes, and F2 NASH is more hazardous than smoking." He also emphasized the significant impact of liver disease on lifespan, noting that NAFLD costs 2 to 3 years, while NASH reduces lifespan by 5 to 10 years.
Regarding the modest reduction in fibrosis seen in some drugs, including obeticholic acid and resmetirom, Eskridge said, "These benefits are crucial for halting disease progression and are currently underappreciated in ICER's evidence report and cost/benefit analyses." Additionally, he expressed concern about the calculation of cost in healthcare models, as it could limit patient access to treatment.
FLF estimates that over 5 million people in America currently have advanced fibrosis due to NASH. Although other analyses, including ICER's report, have used a more conservative figure of 3.8 million, Eskridge argues that the growing incidence of the disease indicates that the number of candidates for treatment will continue to increase.
Eskridge commented on the rating system for obeticholic acid and resmetirom, stating, "We rank them as C+ and C++, respectively. It is essential to have a better understanding and more accurate representation of NASH and its effects on patients to improve treatment and support."
About the Fatty Liver Foundation
The Fatty Liver Foundation is a non-profit patient organization dedicated to improving the identification, diagnosis, treatment and support of people living with fatty liver, NAFLD or NASH through awareness, screening, education, and patient outreach. FLF’s goal is to improve the lives of both asymptomatic and diagnosed patients by raising awareness, advancing wellness screening, educating patients, and championing the development of responsive support systems for individuals of the growing epidemic of fatty liver disease. Connect with us on www.fattyliverfoundation.org, Facebook (Fatty Liver Foundation JUST LIVER NEWS), Twitter (@LiverSaver), and YouTube (Fatty Liver Foundation).
Fatty Liver Foundation
Henry E. Chang | Mobile +1 917 400 8900 | [email protected]
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