FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2022
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 House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies FY23 viral hepatitis funding levels:
“NVHR commends Chairwoman DeLauro, Ranking Member Cole, and Members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies for its commitment to increase funding for programs necessary to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat in the United States. The increases in funding for both viral hepatitis programs and activities that target the infectious disease-related consequences of the opioid crisis through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are a direct result of successful advocacy from our partners and grassroots advocates across the country.
“We are pleased that the Committee took into consideration new guidelines from CDC for viral hepatitis screening and vaccination, such as the November 2021 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation for universal hepatitis B vaccination for adults aged 19 to 59, as well as promoting hepatitis C screening for all pregnant people during each pregnancy. The Committee also showed an understanding of the critical link between infectious diseases and the opioid epidemic. New funding for high quality syringe services programs and other activities to limit infectious disease as a byproduct of the public health crisis will play a crucial role in stemming the tide of the opioid use and viral hepatitis syndemic.
“NVHR remains committed to working with Congress to secure the necessary funding for programs that directly address the viral hepatitis epidemic. The historic funding increase in viral hepatitis and related programs is a testament to the power of our advocacy network and how good advocacy can make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans. We now call on the Senate to follow the House’s lead and match these funding levels in its Appropriations bill.”
The House spending bill, scheduled to be marked up by the full Appropriations Committee tomorrow, would provide to CDC in Fiscal Year 2023 $54,500,000 for the Division of Viral Hepatitis, an increase of $13,500,000 over current funding, and $43,000,000 to address the infectious disease consequences of the opioid epidemic, an increase of $25,000,000. In addition, the bill removes a restriction on use of federal funds to purchase syringes for syringe services programs.
For more information about viral hepatitis and the need for a stronger public health response to rising hepatitis rates, 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
Josh Berkowitz: (703) 939-7056