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Research highlights need to address hemophilia in developing world
Date:11/16/2009

When modern medicine finds a way to treat a medical condition, people often think that the problem is solved. But we also have to find ways to get that treatment into the hands of those who need it. For example, new research from North Carolina State University shows that much more needs to be done to help get existing treatment to hemophilia patients in the developing world, and that the current lack of treatment there is costing lives.

"This research illustrates international disparities in treatment for a disease that we know how to address," says Dr. Jeff Stonebraker, an assistant professor of business management at NC State and lead author of two new studies on hemophilia prevalence and treatment. "What we've found highlights the work that needs to be done by governments, health officials and pharmaceutical manufacturers to address the needs of those suffering with hemophilia in the developing world."

Type A hemophilia is a hereditary bleeding disorder that affects about 400,000 people predominantly men around the world. The disorder prevents blood from clotting normally, creating the risk of serious bleeding or internal bleeding. Ultimately, the disorder can result in severe pain, joint deformities and death in childhood or young adulthood. But the condition can be treated by replacing the missing clotting factor VIII, which enables those suffering from hemophilia A to live relatively normal lives. Unfortunately, the treatment is expensive and new research shows that access to that treatment is severely limited.

"This is the best data there is on a relatively small global population," says Mark Skinner, president of the World Federation of Hemophilia. "It will be incredibly useful to our members, to manufacturers of treatment products, ministries of health and researchers. These two very important papers help us see where progress is being made and how we can learn lessons that will help us continue to improve care and work to
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Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

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