Breaking News: The Liver Illness Visibility, Education and Research (LIVER) Act of 2019 (HR 3016)

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Breaking News: The Liver Illness Visibility, Education and Research (LIVER) Act of 2019 (HR 3016)

Introduced on May 23, 2019 by Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), the bill takes bold steps to increase investments in research, prevention, and awareness activities to address liver disease and liver cancer, which continues to grow in incidence and is the 2nd deadliest cancer.

The LIVER Act will: 

  • Authorize an additional $45 million a year for 5 years for liver cancer and hepatitis B research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Raise the profile of liver disease at the NIH by adding Liver to the name of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to make it the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, Kidney and Liver Diseases

  • Elevate the Liver Branch at NIDDK to a Division and require that the new Liver Division report directly to the Institute Director

  • Direct the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to issue targeted calls for proposals, including a call for a new liver Specialized Program of Research Excellence for primary liver cancer, and have those proposals reviewed by a new Special Emphasis Panel

  • Direct NIH to establish an inter-institute working group to coordinate hepatitis B and liver cancer research.

  • Authorize an additional $90 million a year for 5 years for prevention and awareness grants at the CDC, including grants for screening, vaccination, and treatment for liver cancer, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Currently the LIVER Act has 9 cosponsors. The Global Liver Institute has been actively involved on this issue and strongly supports this crucial piece of legislation. We applaud Representative Velazquez’s leadership, and acknowledgment of the need for federal support to save patient lives. Federal action is a critical piece of the puzzle as we look to protect those impacted by liver disease. 

Please stay tuned for next steps, and ways you can help advance the LIVER Act of 2019. 

Donna Cryerpolicy