Hepatitis C infections occurring in recent years in the European Union may cost countries billions of euros in future healthcare, according to research published in this monograph. A conglomeration of state-of-the-art research on hepatitis C, drug use and public health methods, this publication presents analyses on the impact and costs of the disease among injecting drug users, as a basis for sound policy-making. Other issues addressed include: quality of life; treatment, surveillance and prevention; and the cost-effectiveness of measures such as needle-exchange programmes and substitution therapy. Hepatitis C affects an estimated 170 million people worldwide and at least a million, but possibly several million, people in Western Europe who are at risk of developing liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. It is a highly infectious and potentially fatal blood-borne disease that attacks the liver and for which there is as yet no vaccine.