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FW: Met with Dr. Deyton,
November 11, 2002
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 8:06 AM
Subject: Met with Dr. Deyton, Veterans Administrations Hepatitis C Program Director.

Last spring Hepatitis C's Movement for Awareness (HMA) met with Dr. Deyton, the Veterans Administrations (VA) Hepatitis C Program Director. He told us that the new qualifications for being screened for HCV now include the pneumatic, needleless, jet gun injections veterans received for mass vaccinations.

We asked Dr. Deyton how many Veterans within the VA system have been tested and had HCV. He could not answer that question because of inadequacy in the prior system wide screening process cited by the Government Accounting Office (GAO).

The following article now claims that more than half of all veterans attending VHA medical clinics have been screened for HCV. This is the first documentation by the VA as to how many Veterans have been screened. According to Dr. Robert H. Roswell, VA under secretary for health, the VA has screened more than 2.6 million out of 4 million veterans attending the Veterans Health Care system for hepatitis C risk factors since the system wide policy was established in 1999....

The article does not mention the system wide policy was sited by the GAO. Many were confused, including Dr. Deyton, to the actual number of veterans screened after reports of discarded blood samples, inadequate screening questions and the public locations for screening veterans.

The article also fails to mention the screening qualifications as of 2002 have changed....

Ask a Veteran, "Did your doctor tell you they now including the jetgun shots as part of the screening qualifications?" Be sure to mention that according the GAO, if you were tested, you need to be tested again. Why? They threw away the blood samples.

As a result of this press release, many Veterans will die because of the continued embellishment of achievements stated by the Veterans Administration.
Many Veterans think they have been tested and are safe.
Many Veterans don't think they have risk factors.

The Veterans Administration statistics state 25,470,700 veterans are alive in the United States and the HCV infection rate among veterans in the VA system is about 10%. This means based on reported numbers of infected people by the CDC, 3,900,000. An estimated 11 3/4% of the general population are veterans, or 458,250 veterans were included in the CDC results. Based on the infection rate quoted by the VA and CDC, 3,441,750 civilians of which 2,547,070 are Veterans, compromise the majority of infected people in the United States. Approximately 75% of the people with HCV are Veterans with infections longer than 20 years.

This means out of the three million chronically infected stated by NIH 2002 Consensus Conference, at least 2,250,000 have had this disease for over 20 years. NIH states 20% or 450,000 are expected to develop cirrhosis or cancer NOW, 337,500 will be veterans.

In lieu of all these defenders of freedom facing death, the saddest part of all is the number one clinic, with the highest success rate for treating HCV positive veterans, is being politically phased out. This is because Dr. Cecil prescribes medicines for his patients. He spends too much money.

( see petition at )

The following press release ends with this statement, "VA's approach continues to be a model for how large systems can manage this debilitating disease."

How can you say all those Veterans previously tested are safe?
How can you close Dr. Cecil's clinic then pat yourself on the back with such an ambiguous statement that the VA is a model for others?

We need mandatory testing of all veterans currently in the VA health care system.
We need disease surveillance tracking how many veterans that die also had HCV.
We need private Physicians to be aware of new guidelines for screening and educating all veterans in their care. This needs to be done by stating all of the transmission methods that existed during the pre/post Vietnam era.

Please respond to our questions.

Tricia Lupole
Natl. Coordinator and the members of
Hepatitis C's Movement for Awareness

VA Offers New Treatment for Veterans with Hepatitis C
WASHINGTON (Nov. 1, 2002) -

Less than 10 days after a new treatment for hepatitis C was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made it available to enrolled veterans

"We take care of more patients with this debilitating liver disease than any other health system in the country -- more than 70,000 a year,"

said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi.

"These veterans deserve the best, most responsive care we can offer, including the very latest, approved treatments."

The treatment approved by the FDA Oct. 16 is called "pegylated interferon alfa-2a."  VA has made arrangements with the manufacturer to ship the new drug to VA facilities sooner than any other medical system.

"We are getting this drug in the shortest time possible to facilities that have the most need,"

said Secretary Principi. Several advances in treating hepatitis C, particularly with the introduction of the "pegylated interferons," include drugs that act against the hepatitis C virus used alone or in combination with other drugs.  Through VA's national hepatitis C program, which has been in place about two years, veterans with hepatitis C receive the most appropriate medical care, including: Counseling for risk factor identification and disease prevention; Systematic screening and testing; Proactive patient and clinician education; Liver transplantation if clinically necessary; and Support services such as substance abuse and mental health care.  VA has screened more than 2.6 million veterans for hepatitis C risk factors since the system-wide policy was established in 1999.  To better manage and improve patient care, VA created a national case registry of patients.

"We have worked hard to put in place the largest hepatitis C screening and testing program in the world, all to the benefit of the veterans we serve,"

said Dr. Robert H. Roswell, VA under secretary for health.

"VA's approach continues to be a model for how large systems can manage this debilitating disease."

To view and download VA news releases,
please visit the following Internet address:

If you were tested, you need to be tested again!

(Members please forward this again to Mr. Principi


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