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Tell Congress Stop Push to Gut FDA & Raise Rx Prices

Posted by Becky Martin, NPA Advocacy Director November 28, 2016 at 4:16 PM

Since its inception, the National Physicians Alliance (NPA) has taken a strong stance to ensure that all patients have access to quality, affordable treatments, without undue industry influence. Aligned with these positions, NPA formed our Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Task Force to further ensure that the FDA regulatory process would yield drugs and devices that are truly safe and effective for our patients. This week, NPA is calling on Congress to not undermine this agency’s important work — and we ask you to lift your voices as physicians serving patients and communities across the country.

For over two years, NPA has been fighting against proposed provisions  in the House 21st Century Cures bill and Senate Innovation for Healthier Americans bills that would further lower FDA approval standards for new treatments. On Friday after Thanksgiving, following a series of closed-door negotiations between the House and Senate, the near-final version of 21st Century Cures was released, along with a call to pass #CuresNow. While this bill as currently written does provide for much-needed funding for the NIH, mental health, and the opioid epidemic, it comes at the expense of weakening FDA’s critical role in requiring drug and device companies to provide solid, scientific evidence that their treatments are not harmful and actually work. The bill would also undermine progress made by NPA’s Unbranded Doctor campaign by allowing pharmaceutical companies to unduly influence physician prescribing behavior through exemptions for “educational” gifts under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.

The NPA cannot support legislation that would weaken the FDA and place potentially unsafe and ineffective treatments, through our hands as physicians, into the hands of our patients. We ask you to call your congress members today and urge them NOT to support passage of 21st Century Cures during the lame duck session.

Congress is hearing daily from the drug and medical device industry urging them to pass this legislation. Congress needs to hear from physicians before the full House of Representatives vote scheduled for Wednesday.  If you believe “FDA-approved” means drugs and devices should truely be safe and effective please add your voice to our call NOT to gut the FDA.


Call Your Congress Members Today!
Click here to find phone numbers for your U.S. House Rep. & both Senators


You can find additional details from our allies at Public Citizen here, and a suggested call message for congress members is below. Please let us know what you hear from your congress members by sending a quick email to becky.martin@npalliance.net with subject line: My call to congress on 21st Century Cures Act.

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Congressional sponsors are now calling for this large 996-page bill to be hastily passed this week. We need your help to tell Congress to NOT support passage of 21st Century Cures during the lame duck session.

Suggested message for Senators and House Reps:

Hello, my name is _______ and I am a (physician/health professional) serving in the Senator’s/Representative’s area in _______. I am calling because I am deeply concerned about the proposed 21st Century Cure bill coming up for consideration. While I am very supportive of the increased funding allocated to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and opioid research, it is troubling to see this come at the expense of undermining the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – an agency I rely on to ensure that the treatments given to my patients are truly safe and effective. The currently proposed legislation would allow for pharmaceutical and medical device companies to take shortcuts to get their products approved more quickly by lowering standards for FDA approval. That means a drug or device being “FDA-approved” could also be potentially unsafe and ineffective.  I’m asking (Senator/Representative) to openly oppose this bill during the lame duck session to ensure that I can continue to trust medicines and devices that are “FDA-approved”. 


Call Your Congress Members Today!
Click here
to find phone numbers for your U.S. House Rep. & both Senators

 

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