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NVHR: New JAMA Article Underscores Urgent Need for Congress to Act on Viral Hepatitis Detection, Management Funding
Date:11/11/2009

prove outcomes for patients with chronic infection."

Last month, bipartisan legislation, "The Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control Act," was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and supported by 11 House Members that would support a comprehensive prevention, research, and medical management referral program for chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C virus infection. The bill would provide an initial $90 million in funding in 2011 - with additional funding thereafter - that will increase the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support state health departments in their prevention, immunization and surveillance efforts.

An estimated 5.4 million Americans are infected with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C infection - and most individuals are not aware they are infected. Without meaningful detection and treatment programs, hepatitis infection can progress to cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure. According to Milliman, the cost of chronic hepatitis C virus infection alone could reach $85 billion annually by 2024. Medicare and Medicaid are projected to absorb a disproportionate share of those costs.

In January 2010, the Institute of Medicine is expected to release a report on viral hepatitis in the United States that outlines strategies for reducing the incidence of viral hepatitis infection and to mitigate complications in those individuals with chronic infections.

SOURCE National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable


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SOURCE National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
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