On October 4, 2016, the New York City Health Department released its “Hepatitis B and C: Annual Report of Activities, 2016.”
Viral hepatitis B and C are blood-borne pathogens that are prevalent in New York City (NYC). Both can lead to severe liver disease, cancer and premature death. An estimated 1.2 percent of all New York City residents (about 100,000 people) have hepatitis B, and 2.4 percent of New York City residents aged 20 and older (about 146,500 people) have hepatitis C.
This report presents an overview of the New York City Health Department’s 2016 surveillance and research data on hepatitis B and C in NYC, as well as the Health Department’s programmatic activities to address these epidemics.
- In 2016, 8,439 people were newly reported with chronic hepatitis B, an increase (9.3 percent) from 2015.
- In accordance with the 2016 revision of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition for chronic of hepatitis C, laboratories are required to report all positive hepatitis C antibody tests. As a result of this change in definition, 11,847 people were newly reported with chronic hepatitis C in 2016, an increase (67.8 percent) from 2015.
- In 2016, 3,781 people were newly reported with confirmed hepatitis C (RNA positive) infection, a decrease (9.4 percent) from 2015.
Research and Evaluation
Research and evaluation conducted in 2016 revealed that:
- Approximately 3,400 Medicaid recipients were prescribed hepatitis C treatments, a 61 percent decrease from 2015.
- In 2016, ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir accounted for 47 percent of the hepatitis C medications prescribed to Medicaid patients, compared with nearly three-quarters of prescriptions in 2015.
Direct Services, Capacity Building, Education and Policy
In 2016, the Health Department:
- Enabled 99.5 percent (1,508) of the 1,516 babies born to hepatitis B positive mothers served by the Health
Department Perinatal Hepatitis B Program to receive hepatitis B post-exposure prophylaxis.
- Launched a new program to improve linkage to care rates for pregnant women infected with hepatitis B.
- Managed three patient navigation programs reaching more than 6,000 hepatitis B and C patients.
- Managed a comprehensive hepatitis C care coordination program enrolling 2,551 patients
- Developed and administered a City Council-funded Hepatitis C Peer Navigation program at all 15 NYC syringe exchange programs in NYC.
- Provided primary and secondary prevention, as well as reinfection prevention services, to 4,438 at-risk people.
- Administered more than 12,000 hepatitis B vaccine doses.
- Organized pharmacist advocates to discuss the feasibility of allowing hepatitis C and HIV rapid testing by community pharmacists.
- Closely monitored legislation to increase drug price transparency and lower the cost to insurers and patients.
- Joined with the New York State Department of Health to advise community advocates beginning a statewide effort to eliminate hepatitis C.
- Convened 23 Hep Free NYC network meetings with 860 participants representing 135 organizations from all five boroughs.
In the news:
POLITICO Pro New York Health Care: City continues to see hepatitis B increase [visible to POLITICO Pro members here]