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November 2014
Policy and Advocacy
IDSA Testifies Before Congress on Antimicrobial Resistance

Then-IDSA President Barbara Murray testified before Congress in September on the need for a coordinated federal strategy to combat antibiotic resistance and spur research and development for new antibiotics. The hearing was convened as part of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's 21st Century Cures Initiative aimed at accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of promising new treatments to patients.  While on Capitol Hill, Dr. Murray also met with key congressional leaders to urge them to advance legislation to address resistance and incentivize the development of new antibiotics.Dr. Murray thanked Congress for its leadership in enacting the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act in 2012 and urged lawmakers’ support of the Antibiotic Development to Advance Patient Treatment (ADAPT) Act, which would remove regulatory barriers to antibiotic development by allowing companies to receive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for certain antibiotics with the use of smaller clinical trials. You can take three minutes to echo Dr. Murray’s message by emailing your congressional representative and urging him or her to cosponsor the ADAPT Act using IDSA’s convenient online advocacy center.

She also discussed the benefits of other Congressional proposals that would assist with antibiotic research and development, including tax credits for drug companies that develop new antibiotics, reforming reimbursement models for antibiotics, providing more effective support through federal agencies, and establishing a public private partnership for antibiotic R&D.

In her testimony, Dr. Murray also expressed IDSA’s support of a coordinated government response to antibiotic resistance including well-coordinated federal leadership; sustained and meaningful involvement of non-government stakeholders; antibiotic stewardship programs; enhanced surveillance and data collection on antibiotic use and resistance patterns; and research on novel strategies, best practices and evaluation of methods to prevent, control, and eradicate antimicrobial resistant organisms. Finally, Dr. Murray recommended increased investment in diagnostics research, regulatory approval pathways for needed diagnostics, strengthening diagnostics reimbursement and support for outcomes research to demonstrate the impact of diagnostics on patient care.

Inaugural Meeting of IDSA’s S-FAR

As reported in the September issue of IDSA News, IDSA has launched a new stakeholder group, U.S. Stakeholder Forum on Antimicrobial Resistance (S-FAR), to bring together a diverse set of groups to work collaboratively and inform federal policy. Thus far, over 90 national organizations have joined, representing medical and allied health professionals, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, patients and consumers, public health entities, research and advocacy groups, industry representatives, and international health organizations. The group held its inaugural meeting during IDWeek last month in Philadelphia. Dr. Murray reiterated S-FAR’s call for the U.S. to take a leadership role in addressing the complex, multi-faceted public health crisis of antimicrobial resistance with multi-pronged solutions involving all stakeholders.

At the meeting, key White House staff provided an overview of President Obama’s Executive Order and National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistance and the President’s Council on Science and Technology (PCAST) Report.  Participants also engaged in moderated discussions led by IDSA experts on specific topics related to antimicrobial resistance including surveillance, stewardship, research, product development and data collection and antimicrobial use in veterinary medicine and agriculture.  Federal agency representatives also provided updates on federal activities in each of these areas. The group will continue to collaborate on opportunities to advocate for the initiatives discussed during the meeting.

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