Hepatitis C Challenge: Hep C Caring Ambassadors Program
HepC Choices

Dear Friends of CAP,

Jeff Caballero, Martha Saly, Dr. Howard Koh. Lorren Sandt, Chris Taylor, and Ryan Clary

Jeff Caballero, Martha Saly, Dr. Howard Koh. Lorren Sandt, Chris Taylor, and Ryan Clary

Another historic week in hepatitis! Last week the first protease inhibitor for HCV was approved by the FDA and HHS unveiled its long awaited plan for addressing Viral Hepatitis. COMBATING THE SILENT EPIDEMIC of VIRAL HEPATITIS Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis. The plan is very comprehensive and will help to reduce the burden if it is funded and implemented. The briefing in the House hosted by Senator Kerry and Congressman Honda was packed, standing room only! Six members of Congress spoke eloquently about the problem but made it very clear that it will take a lot of hard work by all of us to get this plan funded. Please let your elected officials know about the plan and that you expect them to support the plan by funding it. They need to hear from you now. The 2012 budget is open for discussion but not for long.

 

THE FAIR PRICING COALITION EXPRESSES DISMAY AT THE PRICE OF MERCK’S NEWLY APPROVED HEPATITIS C DRUG  Read More

THE FAIR PRICING COALITION EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT AT THE PRICE OF VERTEX’S NEWLY APPROVED HEPATITIS C DRUG  Read More

 
Hepatitis Action Plan download PDF
 

Action Alert

Urge Your Members of Congress to Attend Historic Viral Hepatitis Congressional Briefing

On Thursday, May 12th, Congressman Mike Honda and Senator John Kerry will hold a Congressional briefing entitled “Combating the Hidden Epidemic: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan for the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.” This briefing will inform Members of Congress and their staff about the long–awaited report from HHS that will detail the federal government’s strategy for combating hepatitis B and C in the United States.

The release of this report and the briefing offer a tremendous opportunity to change the course of the viral hepatitis epidemic in the U.S. and demonstrate Congressional leadership in moving forward a comprehensive prevention and treatment strategy.

We need as many Members of Congress and their staff to attend this briefing to show their commitment to implement and fund the HHS plan. You can help make this happen by making three important phone calls right now!

How you can make a difference:

Call the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 1-888-876-6242 and ask to be connected to your U.S. Representative. When you are connected, ask for the staff person who handles health care issues. Whether you speak directly to the staff person or leave a message, tell him/her:

“My name is _____________ and I live in (city/state). I am calling to urge Representative _____________ to attend a Congressional briefing on fighting the viral hepatitis epidemic in the United States. This important briefing will outline the new HHS “Action Plan for the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.” The briefing will be held on Thursday, May 12th, from 9:30 – 11:00 am in 210 Cannon House Office Building. Please contact Meina Banh in Congressman Mike Honda’s office for more information and to register. In the next 10 years, about 150,000 people in the United States are projected to die from liver cancer and liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis B and C. I strongly urge your office to participate in this briefing and show your commitment to fighting these preventable diseases.”

Next, call both of your two U.S. Senators (using the Capitol Switchboard number) and deliver the same message to their health care staff. You can also ask the staff person for his/her email address and forward the attached “Dear Colleague” letter with more information about the briefing.

Thank you for taking the time to make a difference!

Briefing Information: Congressional Briefing: Combating the Hidden Epidemic: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan for the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (pdf format)

State of Oregon, Office of the Governor, Proclamation declaring May, 2011, as Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month (pdf format)

This Action Alert was created by the Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership, the National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on AAPIs, and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable.

 

Act Now to Impact Viral Hepatitis C

FEDERAL VIRAL HEPATITIS LEGISLATION NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT

The Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act is essential federal legislation needed to help bring the viral hepatitis crisis under control.

We need to tell our elected officials that we want them to vote for the passage of this bill!

Who should respond? 

All persons affected by HBV or HCV or concerned about the hepatitis B or C crisis including: 

  • people living with hepatitis B orC 
  • family members, friends, and loved ones of individuals living with HBV or HCV 
  • all people concerned about the public health and financial crisis emerging because of viral hepatitis 
  • organizations serving people living with or at risk for hepatitis B or C 

When to respond? Immediately 

How to respond

Write a letter to your Congressional representatives:

IMPORTANT: When you e-mail a Senator or Representatives, it is important to send it through the webform address listed at his/her site. If your email does not come through in this form, it will most likely be deleted as junk e-mail.

Sample Letter to send your Senator or Representative

Dear Senator NAME or Representative NAME (choose the proper title and add his/her last name),

I am deeply concerned about the hepatitis crisis in our country. According to a recent Institutes of Medicine (IOM) report, there are an estimated 5 million Americans infected with hepatitis B and/or C. The overwhelming majority are unaware of their status. Left untreated, chronic hepatitis B and C can lead to liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. 15,000 people in the United States die per year of these preventable diseases.

I implore you to support passage of the Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act.

This legislation will amend the Public Health Service Act and direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish, promote, and support a comprehensive prevention, research, and treatment referral programs for viral hepatitis.

Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act

To amend the Public Health Service Act to establish, promote, and support a comprehensive prevention, research, and medical management referral program for chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C virus infection, to include the following:

  • EDUCATION AND TRAINING – heightens awareness and enhances knowledge and understanding of hepatitis B and C among health care professionals and the public;
  • HEPATITIS B and C DISEASE CONTROL – promotes and supports State, local, territorial, and tribal programs for voluntary hepatitis B & C testing, counseling, and referrals for medical management;
  • SURVEILLANCE – promotes and supports establishment and maintenance of State chronic hepatitis B and C surveillance databases;
  • IMMUNIZATION – expands the current vaccination programs (hepatitis A & B) to protect all susceptible adults, particularly those infected with HCV, high-prevalence ethnic populations, and other high risk groups, from the risks of acute and chronic hepatitis B infection and ensures all children continue to be covered by Vaccine for Children (VFC) funding;
  • ADULT VIRAL HEPATITIS COORDINATORS – provides program funding for Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators in State health departments to enhance the additional management, networking, and technical expertise needed to ensure successful integration of HBV and HCV prevention and control activities into existing public health programs;
  • INTEGRATION WITH EXISTING PROGRAMS – integrates program elements of the Act into existing State, local, territorial, and tribal clinical and public health programs, where appropriate;
  • UNDERSERVED AND DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED POPULATIONS – implements provisions of the Act so as to promote expanded resources for persons with limited access to health education, testing and health care services and groups that may be disproportionately affected by HBV and HCV;
  • MEDICAL REFERRAL – supports referral of persons infected with or at risk for HBV and HCV for drug or alcohol abuse treatment, where appropriate, and on for ongoing medical management of HBV and HCV; and,
  • RESEARCH – supports research through National Institutes of Health (NIH) on best practices, populations affected, liver cancer, non-invasive testing, and treatment.

I urge you to make viral hepatitis your leading health priority and look forward to your support of the Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act, introduced this session.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Your City, State, and Zip Code

 

Remember, YOUR elected officials need to hear from YOU that viral hepatitis is a problem.

  • The more they hear about hepatitis from the "people back home," the more your likely it is that our Congressional leaders will do something about it.
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