Are you part of the Elimination movement? Get Test! Get Cured!
Days to Hepatitis C Elimination
Congress has a historic opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C as the Biden administration unveiled a groundbreaking plan for its elimination in the United States. With this plan as a blueprint, Congress can enact legislation to provide a new point of care diagnostic for hepatitis C, workforce training and education for providers to better test and treat these patients, and a national subscription model that would make sure curative therapies reach those who need them.
Despite the existence of effective therapies that can cure 95% of people with hepatitis C in 8-12 weeks, too many people with hepatitis C go undiagnosed, and even those who are diagnosed often have trouble accessing the treatment they need to be cured. Under the White House plan, health care workers will be able to identify new cases of hepatitis C and start patients on treatment immediately, ensuring they can be cured of this insidious disease.
Congress must hear from you to turn this plan into action! Please urge your members of Congress today to support the White House Plan to Eliminate Hepatitis C by sending the message below.
Click here to find your Members of Congress and see below for a template to use in an email.
If you would like to join the Coalition doing advocacy in DC, please fill out this form.
MESSAGE TO CONGRESS:
Dear Representative/Senator [NAME]
As a constituent and someone who wants to see viral hepatitis eliminated, I urge you to support the White House Hepatitis C Elimination Plan, a plan included in the president’s FY 2024 budget that creates a national subscription model for hepatitis C direct acting antivirals (DAAs) and creates a test-to-treat model that ensures people get tested for hepatitis C and have access to low-cost treatment immediately after diagnosis.
There are currently 2.4 million people living in the United States with hepatitis C, but many of them are unaware of their status and remain so until they develop complications. For over half of the population with hepatitis C, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Up to 25% of people living with hepatitis C develop liver cirrhosis within 10 to 20 years of infection, which can lead to liver cancer and potentially death. In fact, hepatitis C kills around 15,000 Americans each year. Yet hepatitis C is curable with an 8-12 week oral treatment that has an over 95% cure rate.
Current standard of care diagnostics are a multi-stage process, requiring a confirmatory test for someone to know they are currently infected with hepatitis C. The impact of this is that many people living with HCV do not come back for their second test, let alone have access to DAAs once diagnosed. Changing this paradigm is critical to eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat.
Importantly, the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that the national plan will save the Federal government $13.3 billion over 10 years by lowering rates of liver cancer, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. It is also estimated to prevent 24,000 unnecessary deaths due to untreated hepatitis C. This analysis suggests that the plan will actually drive deficit reduction while saving lives.
- Provide an example of how the proposal personally impacts you and/or your patients in your state/district
Given the enormous cost of untreated hepatitis C to our health care system and the availability, if not accessibility, of curative therapies, I ask you to support the White House plan to eliminate hepatitis C by funding the development of a point of care diagnostic for hepatitis C, creating a national subscription model for DAAs, and developing a workforce infrastructure that educates providers and creates linkage to care for people who need it most. The plan would also accelerate research for a new hepatitis C vaccine, which would prevent infections before they start.
Congress has the unique opportunity to cure hepatitis C and must take swift action to ensure that everyone who has hepatitis C living in the United States has access to point of care diagnostics and a curative therapy that they so desperately need. I urge you to support the White House Plan to Eliminate Hepatitis C.
“We co-ordinate the annual World Hepatitis Day campaign on 28 July each year. Every year our campaigns look to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and elevate the voices of the people and communities impacted by viral hepatitis.“