Advocacy in Action | Hormone Health Network
Advocacy

Advocacy in Action

November 08, 2019

What’s Happening in Washington

NIH Funding—Some positive news from the White House is the Trump Administration may be backing off its demand for $8.6 billion in FY 2020 border wall spending in negotiations with top congressional appropriators. As recently as last week, administration officials said they were sticking by their demand and were not ruling out government shutdown when the current stopgap funding measure expires on November 21. What this new information means is that the White House is open to pushing the government shutdown deadline to December and it appears the two dates under discussion for the end of the next continuing resolution are December 13 and December 31. With this news, the Senate appropriators are planning to meet to revive stalled spending talks and develop a plan to finalize FY 2020 funding, including for the NIH. We are advocating that Congress pass a final appropriations bill with at least a $2 billion increase for NIH. We need all Society members to share this message with their Representative and Senators. If you have not done so yet, please join our online advocacy campaign or tweet your support for NIH. We will also send a special alert later in November with an updated campaign based on the outcome of appropriations negotiations. Really, Members of Congress cannot hear this message enough, so please take action today.

Drug Pricing—Fueled by the impeachment process, the increasing partisanship in Congress is impeding progress of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) drug pricing bill (HR 3), which would give the government authority to negotiate drug prices for certain prescription drugs. Republicans in the House of Representatives have decried the process as partisan and exclusive, calling for movement on more limited tweaks. For example, when the Energy and Commerce Committee considered the Democrats' comprehensive bill earlier this month, Republicans largely opposed its key pillars and pushed instead to pass smaller-scale changes.

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There's no reason for insulin prices to be as high as they have gone up in the last couple years, I guess you'd say, and we intend to do something about it, but I don't want anything to detract from our overall piece of legislation. ”

Senator Grassley

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) said to expect an updated version of his bipartisan drug price bill (S 2543) with new provisions meant to win support from additional Republicans. But he made clear that he wasn't willing to remove a provision that would restrain drug price increases, which has turned some GOP members off from his bill. Senator Grassley is also watching what's happening in the House and hoping that members there could accept his bill as a compromise. One policy reportedly under consideration to sweeten the bill for additional Republicans would address insulin costs and rebates that drug manufacturers provide Medicare Part D drug plans and their pharmacy benefit managers.


What We are Working on

Physician Payment Rule—Last Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its Medicare physician payment rule. The final rule updates evaluation and management (E/M) codes and provides coverage for prolonged visits and principal care management services, reversing a 2018 measure that would have significantly cut payments to endocrinology. These changes stem from over a year of advocacy from the Society and its members and will result in an estimated 16% increase for the services endocrinologists provide.

The Society will conduct a one-hour webinar on December 10 at 12:00pm ET to provide an in-depth review of the final rule and what it means for endocrinologists.

Transgender Health Services—A US District Judge declared the Trump administration’s “conscience rule” unconstitutional. The rule, which was set to go into effect later this month, gave health-care providers greater latitude to refuse to participate in abortions, sterilizations or other procedures they disagree with on religious or moral grounds.

PFAS Speakers

PFAS—We organized a congressional briefing on Per- and Polyluoroalkylsubstances (PFAS) in partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Friends of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). During the event Mark Miller, Chief of Staff at NIEHS, discussed NIEHS’ approach to studying PFAS and their health effects. Zeyan Liew, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at Yale School of Public Health described how developmental exposures to PFAS lead to neurological effects, and Endocrine Society member Abby Fleisch, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine and Attending Physician, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Maine Medical Center, described how PFAS can cause adverse effects on metabolism and bone density. The event drew extraordinary interest from congressional offices, with the standing room only crowd filling the room to capacity and asking important questions about the science of PFAS effects and how to address widespread contamination. We developed this event in collaboration with Representatives Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force.

NCI Meeting

Visit with NCI Leadership—We met with Dinah Singer Deputy Director for Scientific Strategy and Development and Director, Division of Cancer Biology and other program officials at the National Cancer Institute to discuss shared research priorities and opportunities. Endocrine Society President-elect Gary Hammer and AMSC Basic Science Chair Jennifer Richer discussed how we can advance endocrine research priorities that span the missions of multiple institutes, such as the endocrine consequences of immune therapy and altered insulin signaling in cancer. Dr. Singer also shared her perspective on NCI’s approach to implementation science to advance prevention strategies. The NCI team was eager to work with us to develop opportunities to motivate more early stage investigators in research on endocrine cancers and neoplasia.

NIH ROI on Sex Differences—The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently published its very first sex- and gender-focused R01: The Intersection of Sex and Gender Influences on Health and Disease (R01 Clinical Trial Optional). This represents a milestone achievement for NIH and reaffirms its commitment to the consideration of sex and gender influences in research and the mission of the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), which is leading the R01 effort.

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Join us in lending your voice to our online advocacy to support our policy priorities, endocrinology, and science. Contact your U.S representatives or European Members of Parliament through our online platform. Take action and make a difference today.

Join us in lending your voice to our online advocacy to support our policy priorities, endocrinology, and science. Contact your U.S representatives or European Members of Parliament through our online platform. Take action and make a difference today.

Member Spotlight

Advocating for Better Policies and Regulations

Barbara Demeneix, B.Sc., PhD, D.Sc
Professor Demeneix has been a tireless scientist and advocate for more protective policies that will improve public and ecological health.  We thank her for her leadership and dedication!

Barbara Demeneix, BSc, PhD, DSc

Professor Demeneix has been a tireless scientist and advocate for more protective policies that will improve public and ecological health.  We thank her for her leadership and dedication!

ENDO 2020

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Early Registration Deadline: December 12, 2019

Bringing together leading experts, researchers, and the most respected clinicians in the field, ENDO represents a convergence of science and practice that highlights and facilitates breakthrough discoveries in the field of endocrinology.

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