Proposal calls on congress to support a dedicated program dedicated to treating and curing hep C
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2023) – The White House today announced a proposal for a National Hepatitis C Elimination Plan as part of its Fiscal Year 2024 budget request to Congress. As detailed in an opinion piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and authored by former NIH Director Francis Collins, serving as Special Advisor to the President, and Senior Advisor Rachael Fleurence, the White House plan focuses on diagnosing, treating, and curing Americans living with hepatitis C through improved diagnostics, innovative financing of hepatitis C medications, and robust community-led efforts to reach and engage people in care across multiple settings.
“This flagship initiative represents a bold vision and exciting commitment from the White House toward eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat,” said Daniel Raymond, Director of Policy for the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR). “We are eager to work with Congress and the administration on realizing the full promise and potential of applying all available tools to cure hundreds of thousands of people living with hepatitis C, saving both money and lives.”
Hepatitis C represents a major public health challenge in the United States, with over 2 million people chronically infected despite highly effective medications that cure infection in 8-12 weeks. Yet a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that barely one-third of newly diagnosed patients received timely hepatitis C treatment, leaving the majority at risk of liver disease and future development of liver cancer. As NVHR and our partners at Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) have documented, multiple barriers to treatment persist for Medicaid beneficiaries despite substantial declines in the cost of hepatitis C medications over the past decade.
“We call upon Congress to work with the administration and advocates on swiftly moving this proposal forward,” said Daniel Raymond. “Hepatitis C falls at the intersection of several of our nation’s great health challenges, including health equity, maternal and child health, and the overdose epidemic. Our resolve and success in eliminating hepatitis C can show us the way forward toward a healthier nation.”
About the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR)
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, an initiative of HEP, is a national coalition fighting for an equitable world free of viral hepatitis. NVHR seeks to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States and improve the lives of those affected through advocacy, education, and support to national, state and local partners. For more information, visit www.nvhr.org.
Jenni Todd: (206) 934-0711