Please be sure to sign the letter by April 30th!
Dear Mr. President: On behalf of the undersigned organizations, and individuals impacted by the hepatitis C epidemic, we write to encourage your administration to immediately investigate the opportunity to save money and eliminate the burden of hepatitis C by utilizing the creative financing recommendation contained in the recent report, A National Strategy for the Elimination of Hepatitis B and C, by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
“Recommendation 6-1: The federal government, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, should purchase the rights to a direct-acting antiviral for use in neglected market segments, such as Medicaid, the Indian Health Service, and prisons. This could be done through the licensing or assigning of a patent in a voluntary transaction with an innovator pharmaceutical company.”
Hepatitis C is responsible for more American deaths than all other infectious diseases combined, but we can stop it in it tracks. People receiving care through Medicaid, Indian Health Services, or, in our prison systems, have some of the highest rates of hepatitis C in our country. Delaying treatment will result in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and billions in wasted healthcare costs. Curing people puts them back to work, increases productivity, increases quality of life, and reduces transmission to others.
The Committee states “Direct-acting agents… have a remarkable success rate, curing an infectious disease of public health consequence. The government has reason to improve access to these drugs, thereby reducing or eliminating the future burden of hepatitis C, something that few products can offer. There may also be a unique combination of circumstances: several innovator companies all offering patent-protected products at the same time for high prices, increasing the chances that the government can negotiate a favorable price.” We ask you, Mr. President to make the most of your business negotiating skills to positively impact the lives of millions of Americans and their families.