FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2022
Josh Berkowitz: (703) 939-7056
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR), a national coalition working to eliminate viral hepatitis, today released the following statement from Director of Policy Daniel Raymond on the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus spending bill’s funding levels for viral hepatitis, harm reduction, and related programs:
“If the United States is going to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030, a goal set out by the World Health Organization, it must appropriately fund programs that will make that goal a reality. Recent data indicates that new hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections have increased in tandem with the overdose crisis, leading to a new generation at risk of future liver cancer, cirrhosis, and premature death. Meanwhile, vaccination against hepatitis B virus (HBV) continues to be underutilized for adults, and treatment initiation for hepatitis C overall decreased from 2014-2020. By failing to provide adequate funding to combat viral hepatitis through vaccination, testing, treatment, and linkage to care programs, we risk lagging even further behind global goals.
“The bill also includes an increase of $5 million for the CDC’s Eliminating Opioid Related Infectious Diseases Program, which will help prevent and respond to opioid-related infectious disease outbreaks, including hepatitis C. While this is below the funding levels that were recommended by House and Senate committees, it is encouraging to see Congress taking steps to fund and implement proven harm reduction strategies will ultimately help to end the opioid overdose crisis and related infectious disease outbreaks.
“As we anticipate passage of the bill, NVHR strongly urges Congress and the Administration to commit to substantial increases in FY 2023 funding to achieve the promise of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat in this decade.”
For more information about hepatitis C treatment access barriers, as well as policies and initiatives to increase access to treatment, screening and testing, please visit www.nvhr.org.
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