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Better awareness needed for bleeding disorder: Medical experts
From:ChinaDaily   |  2019-11-08 14:19

Medical experts are urging higher awareness from the government, doctors and the public of immune thrombocytopenia, a bleeding disorder that affects mainly the elderly, women of child-bearing age and children, with a rising incidence. The disorder occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys platelets, which are cell fragments that help blood clot. It can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding into the skin from the gums or nose, in urine or stools, and heavy menstrual flow for women.

"The disease is fatal in severe cases, and traditional medical solutions are mainly aimed to elevate platelet amounts to a safe level and reduce or avoid bleeding prove limited efficacy for some patients," said Chen Yu, executive director of the Hematological Department of the north campus of Ruijin Hospital Affiliated with the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, during an event held by Novartis Oncology (China) at the ongoing China International Import Expo on Thursday.

Novartis Oncology showcased an innovative therapy in treating the disease. The therapy, the first and so far only oral drug approved in China for patients, made its market debut in the country last year, and was included in the national reimbursement drug list in August to make it more accessible.

Medical circles, as well as various social sectors, should also attach more importance to melanoma, a type of skin cancer, experts said. The incidence and mortality rates for melanoma have increased in the country over the past few years.

Chen Yong, director of the Malignant Melanoma Diagnosis and Treatment Center, which is part of the Shanghai-based Fudan University Cancer Center, said that the two disease subtypes with the highest incidence among Chinese patients are different from those common in the western countries, and therefore, there have been inadequate international studies focusing on those subtypes.

"Public awareness of the disease is far from being high enough and most patients are in the terminal stage when being diagnosed," he said.

Novartis said that it has introduced innovative drugs into the China market at a faster pace – one to three new products or new indications – over the last three years, and at least 25 drugs treating tumors have been available in the country.

It reaffirmed that it will continue science-driven innovation to solve the most challenging healthcare and medical problems. The company also said it will try to bring innovative therapies to Chinese patients simultaneously as they are brought to the United States and Europe, as part of its efforts to better contribute to the country's Healthy China 2030 Initiative.