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NVHR NEWSLETTER – August 2015
The Growing Case for HCV Treatments
NVHR believes that everyone living with hepatitis C deserves to have access to curative treatment. Our position has been strengthened with a new Milliman report showing that curing all baby boomers who know they have hepatitis C would save 53,000 lives over the next decade and save Medicare $4.5 billion as the demographic ages into the program. On August 14, 2015, NVHR's Executive Director Ryan Clary posted an op-ed in Huffington Post, arguing that private and public payers must eliminate all discriminatory and unethical treatment restrictions.

World Hepatitis Day Recap

On World Hepatitis Day, NVHR joined our partners around the globe to call for bold action to end the hepatitis B and C epidemics. NVHR, along with the Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership and Hep B United, organized a World Hepatitis Day press conference, co-hosted by Congressman Michael Honda, Congressman Hank Johnson, and Congresswoman Judy Chu. The Members of Congress called on their colleagues to provide adequate resources and leadership to fight viral hepatitis. Andrew Le and NVHR Steering Committee member Alicia Suarez spoke about their personal experiences with hepatitis B and C. You can the press release from NVHR and our partners here. Photos from the event are at the end of this newsletter. 

NVHR also participated in the U.S. Health and Human Services' World Hepatitis Day event, which focused on addressing the viral hepatitis epidemic domestically. NVHR Executive Director Ryan Clary and Steering Committee member Chari Cohen spoke on a panel of community advocates. You can read a summary of the event here.

New Pharmacists/Viral Hepatitis Working Group
NVHR has convened a working group of pharmacists, allied health care providers, and community advocates to discuss opportunities for pharmacists' involvement in viral hepatitis awareness, screening, linkage to care, medication adherence, and treatment. The group will communicate through a listserv and ongoing conference calls. For more information or to join the listserv, please contact Tina Broder, NVHR's Senior Program Manager.

CMS Delays Hepatitis B Screening Decision
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has responded to the formal request by advocates asking for a National Coverage Determination process to add hepatitis B screening of high risk individuals as a Medicare preventive service. CMS wrote that it must postpone action on our request due to internal capacity restraints. NVHR is working with our advocacy partners to convey to CMS the urgency of covering hepatitis B screening, especially in light of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's updated recommendations. If you are interested in helping with this campaign, please contact Ryan Clary, NVHR's Executive Director.

Fact Sheet: Urgency of Hepatitis C Screening For Baby Boomers
NVHR has released a new fact sheet  on the urgency of hepatitis C screening for baby boomers. The majority of people living with and dying from hepatitis C are baby boomers, yet most of them remain undiagnosed and unaware of their infection. Because many baby boomers have lived with hepatitis C for 20 to 40 years, liver-related complications, including liver cancer, liver failure and liver-related deaths are expected to peak in the next decade. Please download our one page and two page fact sheets from our website outlining the urgency of action now to screen, identify, treat, and cure people living with hepatitis C.

National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV and Hepatitis Awareness Day
The Hepatitis B Foundation, the Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin, and the Multicultural AIDS Coalition are organizing National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV and Hepatitis Awareness Day, September 9, 2015. This awareness day will bring attention to the viral hepatitis and HIV needs of African immigrants in the United States in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. NVHR encourages everyone to join us in participating in the event. You can learn more, including signing up for the day's Thunderclap, here.

World Hepatitis Day Press Conference Photos (credit: Les Talusen)



NVHR Steering Committee member Alicia Suarez and NVHR's Public Policy Manager Christine Rodriguez

Congressman Mike Honda and Hep B United advocates, including NVHR Steering Committee member Chari Cohen

Congresswoman Judy Chu and NVHR's Executive Director Ryan Clary

Congressman Hank Johnson

Hepatitis B advocate Andrew Le

 
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