Blood cellVifor Pharma has used the 12th ECCO Congress, which took place earlier this month in Barcelona, to highlight the detrimental impact of iron deficiency on an individual’s quality of life.

Iron deficiency is a particularly common condition in people with chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and is thought to affect about one third of the world's population. This disease constitutes an important concern for patients and physicians alike as it can significantly impact an individual's quality of life and influence clinical outcomes. 

Vifor Pharma supported a series of activities during ECCO 2017 to raise awareness about iron deficiency. These included: 

Medical education: Vifor Pharma hosted two educational events: a Satellite Symposium and a Meet-the-Expert Session. World-renowned speakers convened to participate in an interactive Satellite Symposium that showcased the best-practice management of iron deficiency in patients with IBD. The Symposium was chaired by Professor Stephan Vavricka, ECCO GuiCom Member. The Meet-the-Expert Session offered expert insight and practical discussions between experienced gastroenterologists on the management of iron deficiency. This event was chaired by Dr López San Román, ECCO EduCom Member.

ECCO-Vifor Pharma Grant 2017: Vifor Pharma and ECCO have created a one-year research grant to promote innovative scientific research in the area of IBD with a special focus on iron deficiency. A grant recipient was selected by the ECCO Scientific Committee. Prof Julián Panés, ECCO President, Head of the Department of Gastroenterology at Barcelona Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Barcelona University, announced the recipient’s name during an award ceremony at the ECCO Congress. 

Prof Panés said: “ECCO and Vifor Pharma's collaborative effort to promote research with a grant in iron deficiency for patients with IBD is an excellent opportunity to advance our knowledge of how to manage this condition, which complicates IBD and significantly reduces the quality of life of our patient.” 

Vifor Pharma Educational Grant 2017: Vifor Pharma granted €5,000 during the ECCO Congress to support the educational activities of GETEII, a local Spanish nursing group dedicated to helping patients with IBD. Delegates who visited Vifor Pharma's booth at the ECCO Congress had the opportunity to contribute to this initiative by playing an educational game, ‘FeriQuest’, to help a patient character, Maria, overcome her iron deficiency. This grant further demonstrates Vifor Pharma's commitment to educating people and healthcare professionals on how to recognise and manage this debilitating condition. 

Dr Thierry Teil, Head of Global Medical Affairs, Vifor Pharma, said: “Iron deficiency can represent a significant burden for sufferers, particularly for those also having to deal with chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. Vifor Pharma is committed to raising awareness about iron deficiency and its debilitating symptoms. By optimising treatment, we can significantly improve the lives of these patients.”

For further information on iron deficiency, please visit, which provides patients, carers and healthcare professionals around the globe with a comprehensive source of information about the causes, effects and symptoms of this condition.