Hep C Elimination Planning Letters @ Hep B Foundation | Sign-on by 10/14/2022

Hep B Foundation (HBF) & Hep B United (HBU) have been working on several advocacy efforts to increase access to Hep B screening, ensure equitable access to Hep B treatment, and ask for inclusion of Hep B in the developing national Hep C elimination plan.

HBF & HBU have drafted organizational sign-on letters to support these efforts. Below are descriptions of each advocacy letter, and a link to sign your organization on.

Each letter has its own individual link to sign on. Please note that the deadline to sign on to all three letters is Friday, October 14th.

The CDC will be releasing a final recommendation for a one-time universal adult Hep B screening in the coming months. When released, the CDC’s recommendation will not be aligned with the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation, which many insurance companies use to determine which services will be covered.

The letter asks for USPSTF to change their current recommendation for Hep B screening from high-risk adults to a one-time, universal test for all adults.

View the full letter and sign your organization on here.

In August, the White House announced a proposal to invest $8-$10 billion over five years in an effort to eliminate Hep C from the US through a national test-and-treat model focused on at-risk priority populations. HBU is very supportive of investments in this space and believe it could have positive downstream benefits for years to come on our public health infrastructure. Unfortunately, Hep B services like testing and linkage to treatment and vaccination haven’t been included in the discussion, despite the standard of care that all individuals starting Hep C treatment using direct-acting-antivirals (the curative Hep C medication) should be tested for Hep B. In response, we have compiled a letter to Dr. Francis Collins at the White House, urging them to include resources for Hep B screening and linkage services.     

View the full letter and sign your organization on here.

In July, HBU & HBF  have learned that Optum decided to remove Vemlidy as a covered medication for treating chronic hepatitis B from its health insurance plan. Hep B United expressed major concerns about this decision in a letter signed by 36 other organizations. Disappointingly, Optum replied with details as to how they made this decision and why they are still choosing NOT to add Vemlidy back to their formulary. In response, HBU & HBF have compiled additional data and comments for their consideration in a follow-up letter, again urging them to reconsider and pointing out the harmful impacts of this abrupt formulary change.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to michaela.jackson@hepb.org with any questions or concerns.

Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by HepFree NYC

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