FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hepatitis B Foundation Helps Get CDC $1 Million More for Viral Hepatitis
House Appropriations Committee Approves $1 Million Budget Increase
for CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis
WASHINGTON, DC (July 31, 2007) – The Hepatitis B Foundation’s advocacy efforts to raise hepatitis B as a national health priority has successfully resulted in the House Appropriations Committee’s recent approval of a $1 million budget increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Viral Hepatitis for 2008. Congressman Mike Honda spoke publicly on July 17 during the first session of the 110th Congress to express his commitment to increased funding for hepatitis B. “The budget for this Division [of Viral Hepatitis] has remained almost flat since fiscal year 2002 and Asian Americans face a near epidemic, with 1 out of 10 infected with chronic hepatitis B. This appropriation begins a long overdue reversal of the inadequate budgets given to this Division,” Honda said.
The Hepatitis B Foundation, headquartered in Bucks County, PA, worked closely with Congressman Mike Honda to help educate lawmakers about the importance of making hepatitis B a national health priority since it chronically affects up to two million Americans, and is a leading cause of liver cancer, which is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S.
According to Hepatitis B Foundation Executive Director Molli Conti, “The new budget increase for the CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis is a huge advocacy success for the Foundation and its partners, and will help expand urgently needed screening, prevention and education programs to stop the further spread of hepatitis B among Asian Americans and other individuals at risk.
The House Appropriations Committee also included a $750 million increase for the National Institutes of Health 2008 budget that would, if approved, lift a two-year freeze on the average cost of new research grants, support another 545 new and competing research grants over last year, and provide additional funding to help train the next generation of researchers.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation
The Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected with hepatitis B worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. The Foundation is located in the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which it created to expand and accelerate its research mission. For more information, please visit www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.