AAFA’s Positions and Statements on Public Policies

AAFA develops policy statements, comments and letters of support regarding public policies that affect those with asthma and allergies. AAFA and other health-focused groups write these. We want our positions and statements to teach community and government leaders about related issues. We also support or oppose policies that affect those living with asthma and allergies.

Read our latest statements, comments and letters of support

AAFA Released a Statement Applauding Massachusetts Biomass Plan Permit DenialDownload PDF – April 5, 2021
AAFA released a statement applauding the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for revoking the air permit for the proposed biomass energy facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposed facility was environmentally unjust and would have caused additional negative health impacts to an overburdened community. According to AAFA’s 2019 Asthma Capitals Report, Springfield is already the most challenging city in the United States to live with asthma. AAFA has long opposed the burning of biomass for energy. Additionally, the burden of asthma falls disproportionately on Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native people in the United States. Polluting sources like the proposed biomass plant have been placed in marginalized communities for far too long and significantly contribute to the stark health disparities in America.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding Increase to NCEH in FY 2022Download PDF – April 2, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services expressing support for increased funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations urge the Subcommittee to provide at least $322 million to NCEH to ensure all of its programs are adequately funded. Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury, health disparities and even death.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support of COVID Recovery LegislationDownload PDF – April 2, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Biden urging him to support COVID recovery legislation that invests in a healthier future for the nation by cleaning up air pollution, addressing climate change and ensuring environmental justice. The pandemic has highlighted a need and an opportunity for robust and sustained support for public health measures to build a healthier future. Public health depends on the nation’s ability to protect all communities from harmful pollution, prevent the worst impacts of climate change and mitigate the climate impacts we’re facing now, and ensure racial justice in every aspect of federal policy. The organizations hope that the President will adequately bolster public health by targeting investments to programs that will mitigate the effects of future public health emergencies while ensuring economic and environmental justice.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging ATSDR Funding Increase in FY 2022Download PDF – April 2, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies urging them to provide $93 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in the FY 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. ATSDR establishes and maintains effective relationships with people in communities that are impacted by environmental hazards throughout the nation and assists impacted communities by investigating and addressing their environmental hazards. Additional funding would significantly enhance the agency’s ability to respond to community requests for assistance, fund and support state and local health departments and protect the nation’s health.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Urging NY to Adopt CA Truck Emission StandardsDownload PDF – April 1, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in support of adopting California’s Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus (HDO) regulations. Transportation is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and in New York. On-road vehicles, especially medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), are also a significant source of toxic pollutants that are harmful to human health. New York must focus on policies that support zero-emission MHDVs. Addressing the MHDV sector will not only reduce the state’s carbon footprint and improve air quality but will also ensure equitable access to clean transportation and improve health in communities historically overburdened by diesel pollution.

AAFA Sends Letter Requesting Assistance Related to ARPADownload PDF – March 24, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Executive Director of the Association of Educational Service Agencies requesting assistance related to the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA includes $122.8 billion for K-12 schools to address a variety of challenges presented by the COVID pandemic. AAFA is asking for help to inform schools and school districts about the importance of making a significant investment to improve clean air in schools. Poor indoor air quality can be a severe health concern for those with asthma and allergies and increases the risks of severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Prioritization of Communities Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19Download PDF – March 24, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human (HHS) and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging them to ensure funding for COVID-19 public health response activities provided through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act (P.L.117-2) prioritizes the communities of color and tribal communities that are disproportionately affected and underserved. A portion of the funding should be directed to specialized efforts by local, state, tribal and territorial public health agencies encouraged to work in partnership with and provide resources to community-based organizations that build trust, ensure access, and provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services.

AAFA Signs Statement Supporting Expanding the ACADownload PDF – March 22, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a statement for the record to the Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The passage of the ACA resulted in drastic reductions of our nation’s uninsured rate and expanded coverage to millions of patients with pre-existing conditions. The organizations strongly support the steps to improve access to quality and affordable coverage in the American Rescue Plan, and they support the Committee’s continued work on key policies that impact patients with serious and chronic health conditions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CDC Climate and Health Program Funding Increase in FY 2022Download PDF – March 22, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Climate and Health Program to $50 million in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This funding is necessary to help state and local health departments prepare and protect their communities from the health threats posed by climate change that they are already experiencing.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting HB 2648Download PDF –March 22, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair of the House Committee on Health supporting HB 2648. This bill  would allow consumers in Oregon to purchase medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) without a prescription. Oregon is currently the only state that requires a prescription to purchase common cold and allergy medicines containing PSE. This requirement is a significant cost and inconvenience for families who are forced to take time from work to receive a prescription from the doctor. The current prescription requirement makes it more expensive, in terms of time and money, for cold and allergy sufferers to get relief.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting CDC NCCDPHP Funding Increase in FY 2022Download PDF – March 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting $3.75 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) as it works to draft the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The current funding for NCCDPHP falls far short of what is needed to prevent chronic disease, slow its spread, and protect those we represent. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges, and the underfunding of NCCDPHP has made the nation more vulnerable to the pandemic.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting CDC OHS Funding Increase in FY 2022Download PDF – March 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting a funding increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) by $72.5 million, for a total of $310 million in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This increase is vitally important in responding to the alarming e-cigarette usage rates among youth and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in disproportionately affected communities.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging House Scheduling of the FASTER Act of 2021Download PDF –March 12, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of the U.S. House of Representatives urging that he schedules for House floor consideration H.R.1202/S.578, the "Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2021" or the "FASTER Act of 2021." Sesame is the ninth most common food allergy among American adults and children, and allergic reactions to sesame can be even more severe than reactions to the top eight allergens, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires labeling. Considering the prevalence and severity of sesame allergies, AAFA strongly supports the FASTER Act and its requirement to label sesame products in a manner similar to the eight currently labeled allergens. Uniform and easily understandable labels will help Americans with sesame allergies and their families safely navigate their food choices and avoid preventable reactions.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting SB127 and Stocking Albuterol in KY SchoolsDownload PDF – March 10, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Kentucky House Standing Committee on Education in support of SB127, an Act relating to student health and safety, which would allow schools to stock albuterol. This bill will improve the health and safety of the estimated 57,000 schoolchildren in Kentucky who are living with asthma, helping manage asthma attacks and mitigating the risk of serious injury or death. It is vital that albuterol be available to treat asthma episodes in the school setting. This move will also be consistent with the state’s policy on epinephrine, an emergency medication for allergic reactions: Kentucky permits schools to maintain a supply of stock epinephrine. This policy should be extended to albuterol.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Expanded Use of Digital Health TechnologiesDownload PDF – March 5, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Biden Administration and Congressional leadership supporting the expanded use of digital health technologies in healthcare based on a consistently growing body of evidence demonstrating their ability to improve patient care, reduce hospitalizations, avoid complications, and improve patient engagement (particularly for the chronically ill). The public health emergency exacerbates disparities in health outcomes that long existed between demographics, geographies, and other social determinants of health. The letter urges that these leaders must take advantage of all opportunities available to utilize digital health technology to augment care in a secure and privacy-protective manner for every patient.

AAFA Signs Letter Applauding Introduction of Public Health Funding Prevents Pandemics ActDownload PDF – March 3, 2021
AAFA and over 150 other organizations sent a letter to Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative Doris Matsui applauding them for the introduction of the Public Health Funding Prevents Pandemics Act, a bill that will restore funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (Prevention Fund). The Prevention Fund will help expand and strengthen critical prevention and public health activities that improve our nation’s health and help reduce health care costs. The organizations thank Senator Blumenthal and Representative Matsui for sponsoring the Public Health Funding Prevents Pandemics Act in order to strengthen our nation’s ability to develop innovative programs that can respond to new or existing infectious disease threats, help reduce the burden of chronic disease, and enable Americans to live longer, healthier lives.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging $10 billion in Funding for CDC Programs in FY 2022Download PDF – March 1, 2021
AAFA and 192 other organizations, as part of the CDC Coalition, sent a letter to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies leaders. The letter urges the leaders to provide at least $10 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health. Despite the progress CDC has made to meet these needs, the agency’s programs have been woefully underfunded.

AAFA Signs Letter Endorsing the Safe Step Act of 2021Download PDF – February 26, 2021
AAFA and other organizations signed an endorsement letter of S. 464, the Safe Step Act of 2021. The purpose of the Safe Step Act is to improve step therapy protocols and ensure patients are able to safely and efficiently access the best treatment for them. Step therapy protocols may ignore a patient’s unique circumstances and medical history. That means patients may have to use medications that previously failed to address their medical issue, or – due to their unique medical conditions – could have dangerous side effects. The bill establishes a clear exemption process, outlines 5 exceptions to 'fail first' protocols, and requires a group health plan respond to an exemption request within 72 hours in all circumstances, and 24 hours if the patient’s life is at risk.

AAFA Signs Letter Relating to the Complex Generics Approval ProcessDownload PDF – February 22, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the Generic Drug User Fee Agreements (GDUFA III). The organizations urge the FDA to commit to increased efficiency of generic reviews and greater attention to the next generation of generic drugs – complex generics – that, by their nature, require a more intensive review. They also ask the FDA to consider process improvements to help alleviate uncertainty in the regulatory review process, particularly for complex generics. Greater availability of generic versions of these medicines would improve accessibility and affordability for those patients who are most likely to already have high medical costs.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Urging Mandatory Allergen Labeling for SesameDownload PDF – February 22, 2021
AAFA sent a comment letter expressing appreciation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) voluntary labeling guidance for sesame, and to urge the FDA to immediately take regulatory action to make these changes mandatory. The voluntary guidance is an important step to prepare and educate industry – but the evidence strongly supports FDA using its existing authorities to immediately initiate rulemaking to make sesame allergen labeling mandatory. AAFA also asks that FDA add sesame to the Compliance Policy Guide, which includes standards for manufacturers to address cross contact with allergens during food production.

AAFA Sends Letter Proposing Priorities for Climate ChangeDownload PDF – February 19, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the National Climate Advisor proposing priority areas to improve public health and to promote environmental justice, in the process addressing asthma as well as many other health conditions affected by climate change. Climate change exacerbates asthma through myriad routes and the steps we need to take to address climate change secure our planet’s future and create immediate and crucial improvements in the health of people living with asthma. The administration’s focus on racial equity and on broadening access to healthcare are important foundations for this work. AAFA wants to highlight to the task force the set of multisectoral strategies that are key to addressing disparities in asthma and in promoting health equity. The interests of the asthma community are truly inseparable from the goals of the climate task force.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased Funding for MedicaidDownload PDF – February 18, 2021
AAFA, as part of the Modern Medicaid Alliance, sent a letter calling on Congress to enhance federal financing for Medicaid by increasing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by a total of at least 12 percentage points, consistent with the previous request made by the bipartisan National Governors Association. The number of Americans who rely on Medicaid has grown dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis. Without increased funding for Medicaid, hardworking Americans, many of whom are at an increased risk of severe impacts from COVID-19, could be denied access to the essential care they need and deserve.

AAFA Sends Memorandum in Support of A4486/S454 Regarding Sesame LabelingDownload PDF – February 18, 2021
AAFA sent memorandums in support of bill A4486/S454 to Assembly Member Epstein and Senator Biaggi. This bill is an act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the labeling of food products containing sesame. Sesame is the ninth most common food allergy among American adults and children, ranking just behind the eight allergens for which FDA requires labeling. Despite the prevalence and severity of sesame allergy, clear labeling of sesame is not currently required. Uniform and easily understandable labels will help Americans with sesame allergies and their families safely navigate their food choices and avoid preventable reactions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support of Electric VehiclesDownload PDF – February 18, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senators and Representatives urging them to support transportation policies that reduce both harmful air pollution and climate pollution at the same time. Transportation pollution has dangerous impacts on health. Vehicle emissions are the greatest single U.S. source of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Incentivizing the purchase of both new and used electric vehicles is a key part of the solution. However, to achieve the health benefits of electric vehicles, we also need strong investments in the charging infrastructure to support them and a renewable, non-combustion energy sector to power them.

AAFA Sends Letter Proposing Priorities for COVID-19 Equity Task ForceDownload PDF – February 17, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to Dr. Nunez-Smith, the COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair, proposing priority areas that the task force should focus on to address the unacceptable racial and ethnic disparities in the burdens of asthma and COVID in the United States. AAFA believes that COVID-19 has made even more urgent the need to act against health disparities, as the epidemic has starkly mirrored ongoing disparities in asthma and other chronic health conditions in our country. AAFA asks the task force to lead a set of multisectoral strategies that are key to addressing disparities in asthma and in promoting health equity.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Investment in Public Health Infrastructure and WorkforceDownload PDF – February 12, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to include a significant, long-term investment in public health infrastructure and workforce. This investment is critical to support the public health system to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to strengthen it before the next pandemic hits and avoid the loss of life and social and economic disruption we are experiencing today. The organizations recommend $4.5 billion in long-term, additional annual funding for CDC, state, local, tribal and territorial core public health infrastructure to modernize the nation’s public health system, rebuild the workforce, and promote healthier communities.

AAFA Sends Memorandum in Support of S.1043Download PDF – February 12, 2021
AAFA sent a memorandum in support of bill S.1043 to Senator Ramos. This bill is an act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring cafeteria staff to be trained in preventing and responding to anaphylaxis. Food allergies are affecting a growing number of American children and adults. Between four and six percent of all children in the U.S. have food allergies. Exposure to the allergen can cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis and, in rare cases, death. The protection S.1043 provides requiring cafeteria staff to be trained to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Passing of Medicaid and COVID-Related Public Health ProvisionsDownload PDF – February 11, 2021
AAFA and 31 other organizations released a statement urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee to advance important provisions that would help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The organizations appreciate the work of the Energy & Commerce Committee to advance the health and wellbeing of the patient populations they represent during the COVID-19 pandemic. They urge the Committee to pass Medicaid provisions and COVID-Related Public Health provisions and advance them to the House floor.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Advancement of COVID-19 Relief MeasuresDownload PDF – February 10, 2021
AAFA and 29 other organizations released a statement urging the House Committee on Ways and Means to advance important legislation that would help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The letter outlines the ways that the organizations appreciate the work of the Ways and Means Committee to advance the health and wellbeing of the patient populations they represent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter urges the Committee to swiftly pass this legislation and advance it to the House floor.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Patient Community Priorities for COVID-19 LegislationDownload PDF – February 1, 2021
AAFA and 27 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to enact additional legislation that will help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly among vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear that all people need access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage now more than ever. The letter urges Congress provide the coverage resources individuals and families need to seek and afford timely treatment and care. Recommendations are included in the letter that will help assure that patients will be protected during this crisis and that our health care system will remain viable and available to them after the crisis.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Patient Community Healthcare Priorities for ReconciliationDownload PDF – February 1, 2021
AAFA and 28 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to expand access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage through the budget reconciliation process. Coverage is more important now than ever, as patients and their families weather the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. The letter urges the passage of the following policies: increase the availability and generosity of advance premium tax credits (APTCs), fix the ‘family glitch,’ and secure and strengthen the Medicaid program both now and in the future. The organizations want to improve coverage and care for the millions of patients and people with pre-existing conditions.

AAFA Signs Statement Applauding Biden Administration Actions to Protect Those With Pre-Existing ConditionsDownload PDF – January 29, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement applauding the much-needed patient protections in two of Executive Orders issued by President Biden on January 28. The Administration decided to open a special enrollment period so that millions of patients and consumers, who have been hard hit by the dual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, can enroll in high-quality health insurance coverage. The executive orders also make strides in unwinding the policies that have blocked some patients’ access to the Medicaid program, including work requirements. The announcements represent the first of what the organizations hope are many improvements aimed at better serving the millions of people with pre-existing conditions.

AAFA Signs 2021 Declaration on Climate Change and HealthDownload PDF – January 26, 2021
AAFA and other public health, patient advocacy, nursing and medical organizations declare climate change a health emergency and call for immediate action to protect the public’s health from the current and future impacts of climate change in the 2021 Declaration on Climate Change and Health. These organizations call on President Biden, members of the Administration, and members of Congress to heed the clear scientific evidence and take steps now to reduce pollution that drives climate change and harms health.

AAFA Signs Statement Responding to ‘Censoring Science’ Final RulesDownload PDF – January 11, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final “Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying Significant Regulatory Actions and Influential Scientific Information” rule, often called the “Censoring Science” rule. Under this finalized rule, scientific studies may be excluded from consideration entirely or may be given lesser consideration in the policymaking process if their underlying data is not made public. For many studies, making this data public is not possible without violating researchers’ obligation to keep the personal information of their study participants private. The organizations call on President-elect Biden to repeal this rule as soon as he takes office and for the President-elect and EPA to immediately get to work on measures to clean up air pollution and address climate change, and to ensure that they are based on sound science.

AAFA Signs NEA Comment Letter Concerning the Treatment of Atopic DermatitisDownload PDF – January 8, 2021
AAFA signed on as support to a comment letter sent by the National Eczema Association (NEA) to the President of Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). The letter states how the NEA is looking forward to working with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) as a “Key Stakeholder” during the development of the report entitled “JAK Inhibitors and Monoclonal Antibodies for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis: Effectiveness and Value.” The letter submits comments and questions to the draft background and scoping document published on December 10, 2020 for ICER’s consideration as they develop research protocol.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging the HHS to Rescind Requirements Guidance Given to State Medicaid ProgramsDownload PDF – January 8, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Secretary-Designate Xavier Becerra of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging him to rescind guidance (SMD 18-002) to state Medicaid programs regarding work and community engagement requirements upon taking office. These requirements reduce healthcare coverage for patients who need access to care. The organizations are dedicated to working with the Administration, Members of Congress and state governments to ensure coverage is affordable, accessible and adequate for patients, including those who rely upon Medicaid for their healthcare coverage. Work requirement policies significantly harm access to care for patients, including those with serious and chronic health conditions, in the Medicaid program.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Patient Protection and the ACA; Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022Download PDF – December 28, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022.’ The organizations recognize and appreciate provisions of the proposed rule that would expand patients’ access to ACA coverage through new special enrollment periods (SEPs) and extension of the temporary premium tax credits. However, they are concerned that many of the other policies included in the 2022 Notice of Proposed Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) would negatively impact patients’ access to comprehensive coverage provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges and shift additional health care costs and administrative burden to qualified health plan (QHP) enrollees.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Immediate Withdrawal of the MFN RuleDownload PDF – December 23, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging the immediate, full withdrawal of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) rule. The MFN model is not in the best interest of America and would disproportionately harm senior, patients, people with disabilities, people of color and other vulnerable communities. For these populations, access to the care they need in a timely manner is critical. The MFN rule would jeopardize the ability of these populations to access the care needed to achieve their individual optimal health outcomes. The organizations urge the administration to abide by current statue, which forbids the use certain metrics in public programs and abandon the MFN model. They encourage working directly with patients and people with disabilities to determine a way to lower health care costs that does not undermine access to care.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Immediate Delay of the MFN ModelDownload PDF – December 22, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to members of the U.S. House and Senate urging them to pass legislation to require an immediate delay of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Model for Medicare Part B drugs. As a result of the MFN Model, Medicare patients with deadly and debilitating conditions will face massive hurdles in accessing critical therapies and seniors will be forced to accept less effective treatments, or will lose access entirely – causing deadly or costly complications that could have been prevented. This new policy will force providers to decide between accepting reimbursement rates lower than the price they pay for drugs and choosing less-optimal treatments for their patients.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter On Policy Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Health EmergencyDownload PDF – December 18, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on CMS-9912-IFC, “Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.”  The organizations are deeply concerned by the IFC provisions related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Medicaid maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions and those allowing states to circumvent required transparency procedures for §1332 waivers. They appreciate some of the steps that CMS has taken to extend coverage of a COVID-19 vaccine without cost-sharing, but continue to have concerns about critical gaps in coverage, including vaccine coverage for the patients they represent.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Congress to End Surprise Medical BillingDownload PDF – December 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations released a statement applauding Congressional committee leaders for reaching an agreement to address surprise medical billing and urges Congress to quickly enact it. The No Surprises Act represents a significant step toward the goal of ending surprise medical billing and is an improvement for patients over the status quo, but patients are frustrated that they are exposed to surprise medical bills stemming from COVID treatment at a time when they are concerned about their physical and financial wellbeing. The organizations urge lawmakers to advance this legislation before this Congress adjourns.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Gratitude to Representative Eliot EngelDownload PDF – December 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Representative Eliot Engel expressing gratitude for the leadership he has shown as co-chair of the Congressional Asthma and Allergy Caucus. He has stood by the asthma and allergy communities and advanced policies with the goal of alleviating the burden of asthma and allergy in this nation. As a result of his leadership, there has been increasing funding for the National Asthma Control Program (NACP) and Representative Engel has championed the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act. The organization also wish to thank him for being a constant source of protection and reassurance.

AAFA Sends Letter to Biden Transition Team Concerning the Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Burden of AsthmaDownload PDF – December 16, 2020 
AAFA sent a letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President Elect-Harris recommending priority policy areas to focus on to address asthma and, in particular, the racial and ethnic disparities in the burden of asthma in the United States. AAFA believes that the ongoing disparities in asthma and other chronic health conditions in our country combined with the current COVID-19 pandemic have made the need to act for health equity even more urgent. The letter outlines policy proposals that are detailed in AAFA’s recent report, Asthma Disparities in America: A Roadmap to Reducing the Burden on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, as well as specific examples to address asthma disparities. Because of the broad roots of asthma disparities, achieving health equity will require approaches that include but extend far beyond the health care and public health systems.

AAFA Signs Letter to Biden Transition Team Urging Prioritization of Health Care CommitmentsDownload PDF – December 10, 2020 
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and the Presidential Transition Co-Chairs urging that the combating of COVID-19 and addressing the pressing health care needs of all our country’s individuals and families must be the highest priority. Work on these issues will be key to turning the tide of the pandemic, restoring our economy, and saving lives. It will also set the course for the health and well-being of every family in America for decades to come. The organizations urge the President-elect and transition team to prioritize the health care commitments made during the campaign in the first year of your administration, and that they be central to the first 100 days agenda.

AAFA Sends Letter to Senator Schumer Encouraging Support of H.R. 2468Download PDF – December 5, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York encouraging him to support the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act (H.R. 2468), a bipartisan bill passed by the House on September 29, 2020. The bill is now before the Senate, and AAFA asks that Minority Leader Schumer considers including it with the forthcoming spending package. H.R. 2468 would increase the preference given in awarding certain allergies and asthma-related grants to states that require allergies and asthma management plans and allow trained school personnel to administer rescue medications for allergies and asthma. H.R. 2468 would address several policy gaps to promote the health and learning of all children with asthma.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Protections Against Surprise Medical BillingDownload PDF – December 4, 2020
AAFA and 27 other organizations sent a letter to members of Congress to immediately enact legislation to permanently end all forms of surprise medical billing. Patients with serious and chronic conditions routinely require medical treatment to maintain their health. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, patients are being asked to shift their care to different providers and facilities to minimize exposure or to ensure patients with COVID have the ability to seek and receive treatment away from those who may be at risk of infection. These shifts, while necessary to contain the virus, may result in out-of-network care – increasing consumers’ risk of receiving a surprise medical bill. The letter urges Congress to move quickly to include comprehensive protections for patients and consumers in any end of the year legislative package.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Urging Withdrawal of HHS Proposed RuleDownload PDF – December 4, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Secretary of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the proposed rule ‘Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely.’ The letter urges the HHS to immediately withdraw the proposed rule as the impact on programs that provide coverage to millions of Americans, including those who are low-income, people of color and individuals with pre-existing conditions, is unacceptable. The proposed forcing mechanism would disrupt the operation of healthcare programs including Medicaid, CHIP, and the Marketplace by creating regulatory uncertainty for stakeholders, and it would divert the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) resources from what should be the highest priority: ensuring that these programs respond effectively as possible to the pandemic.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased Funding of CDC’s OHSDownload PDF – December 2, 2020
AAFA and 51 other organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate leaders of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies urging them to fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) at the House-passed funding level of $240 million. The House-passed level provides a $10 million increase for OSH and is vitally important to respond to alarming e-cigarette usage rates among youth and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic. OSH has a vital role to play in addressing this serious public health problem and additional resources will allow OSH to address youth e-cigarette use while continuing to prevent and reduce other forms of tobacco use.

AAFA Signs Letter to Biden EPA Team Regarding COVID-19, Climate, Children and SchoolsDownload PDF – November 30, 2020
AAFA and 21 other organizations sent a letter to the President Elect-Biden Transition Team calling for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve and promote school environments to ensure children’s health and learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many disparities, but perhaps none so critical as the lack of preparedness and lack of resiliency of schools to COVID and to climate disasters. Importantly for reopening amid an ongoing airborne pandemic, that includes lack of ventilation and poor indoor air/environmental quality in schools. The EPA Team can also help ensure that efforts to rebuild better schools are also addressed and the letter requests a meeting with the EPA team to discuss the issues and the deep need for quick and strategic actions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CDC Program Funding in FY 2021 Spending BillsDownload PDF – November 24, 2020
AAFA, as part of the CDC Coalition, sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee leaders and House and Senate leadership regarding the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations urge support of at least the House level of $7.926 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in any final FY 2021 spending package and to oppose any efforts to reduce or eliminate funding for any of CDC’s critical programs. They also urge additional emergency supplemental funding to ensure our federal, state and local health departments and agencies have the resources they need to protect the public from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including adequate resources for vaccine allocation, distribution and administration.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging the FDA to Make Sesame Allergen Labeling MandatoryDownload PDF – November 24, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) supporting the issuance of draft guidance to industry regarding disclosure of sesame as an allergen but urging the agency to swiftly act to make sesame allergen labeling mandatory. The draft guidance is an important step because it signals to manufacturers that they need to begin to address their sesame labeling practices. However, a voluntary system does little to help consumers with sesame allergy. The lack of sesame on a label will not necessarily mean a product is safe – it could simply mean that a manufacturer has chosen not to implement the “recommended” labeling. Therefore, the organizations strongly urge the FDA to move quickly, via rulemaking, to mandate allergen labeling for sesame.

AAFA Signs Letter to President Elect-Biden Outlining COVID-19 Health Priorities Download PDF – November 23, 2020
AAFA and 31 other organizations sent a letter to President Elect Joseph R. Biden urging him to take immediate steps upon assuming office that will help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly among vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear that all people need access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage now more than ever. The letter outlines three priorities that are critical to ensuring quality health insurance coverage is affordable and accessible: private coverage, Medicaid and essential medications. Recommendations are listed with each priority that will help President Elect-Biden assure that patients will be protected during this crisis and that our health care system will remain viable and available to them after the crisis.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Federal Financing Enhancement for MedicaidDownload PDF – November 18, 2020
AAFA, as part of the Modern Medicaid Alliance, sent a letter to Congress urging the enhancement of federal financing for Medicaid by increasing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to a total of at least 12 percentage points, consistent with the request made by the bipartisan National Governors Association. The organizations urge Congress to include dedicated funds for Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). The number of Americans who rely on Medicaid has grown dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis. Without increased funding for Medicaid, hardworking Americans most at-risk could be denied access to the essential care they need and deserve. This is especially true for People of Color – who have been hardest hit by the crisis – with Medicaid providing coverage for more than 1 in 4 Black and Hispanic adults.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging $33 Million Funding for NACP in FY 2021Download PDF – November 17, 2020
AAFA sent a letter urging the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies to fund the National Asthma Control Program (NACP) at the House-approved level of $33 million in fiscal year (FY) 2021 to ensure the program can continue to meet the needs of funded-states as well as add additional states to expand our nation’s response to asthma. The NACP serves as the nation’s preeminent agency for reducing the incidence of asthma, as well as asthma-related emergency room visits and deaths. Currently, the NACP funds projects in 25 state, territorial, and municipal partners. Funding the NACP at $33 million will ensure the program can continue to meet the needs of funded states and allow for better surveillance, management and treatment of asthma.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding PCORI Proposed Principles for Full Range of Outcomes DataDownload PDF – November 13, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter regarding the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Proposed Principles for the Consideration of the Full Range of Outcomes Data. The organizations hope that PCORI will provide guidance to researchers that the ultimate goal of collecting this data is to improve patient and caregiver decision making and care. PCORI should be clear that the collection of this data is not intended to support restricted coverage of items and services for people with disabilities and chronic conditions that may need them. The letter urges PCORI to work closely with stakeholders to determine the additional outcomes that will be collected under the new statutory provisions and to make publicly available which outcomes and analyses will be considered in future research. PCORI should ensure that new Methodology Committee members are appointed who have appropriate expertise in the collection and communication of patient-level data, including patient preference information, and its translation into high quality shared decision-making tools and innovative methods for assessing treatment value.

AAFA Signs Letter Regarding Major Insurers Changing Telehealth Co-paysDownload PDF – November 10, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to AHIP and other major insurers surrounding changes made to many health insurers website that they are not or soon will no longer be waiving copayments and deductibles for certain telehealth visits for patients during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). These organizations represent individuals with acute and chronic conditions, who often require ongoing monitoring and evaluation by medical professionals to maintain their health and which telehealth has proven to be critical. This has enabled patients to be cared for by their health care providers from the safety of their homes. The organizations urge all health insurers to waive patient cost-sharing, including deductibles and co-pays, for telehealth services, for at least the duration of the COVID-19 PHE. Eliminating this important health access barrier will help protect the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society many of whom continue to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Safety-Net Providers and the 340B Drug Pricing Program Download PDF – October 30, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sharing their concern about some pharmaceutical manufacturers’ recent actions to limit access to discounted prices for certain prescription drugs purchased by safety-net hospitals, health centers, and clinics. Congress created the 340B drug pricing program to support safety-net providers, treat patients in need, and offer vital services. Threats to the safety net are concerning stakeholders representing the patient, provider, consumer, and social justice organizations’ needs. Actions that limit access to prescription drugs purchased by safety-net hospitals, health centers, and clinics will harm communities of color, low-income, and rural populations. This further divides and disproportionately impacts racially and ethnically diverse communities.

AAFA Signs Statement Sharing “The 100 Days Agenda: a Patient-First Blueprint”Download PDF – October 13, 2020
AAFA, as part of a coalition of 33 organizations representing millions of people with pre-existing conditions, shared “The 100 Days Agenda: A Patient-First Blueprint” that outlines specific steps the President and other elected officials can immediately take to protect patients once sworn into office in January. The report elevates the collective voices of patients and urges elected officials to ensure all people living in the United States, including those with pre-existing conditions, have access to adequate and affordable health coverage. The policy agenda provides guidance on how policymakers, including the Administration, can leverage each of the three branches of government to protect patients and strengthen our system of care. It also includes steps policymakers can take to address harmful policies that undermine patient protections, including protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

AAFA Signs Letter About Impact on Voters with Serious and Chronic Diseases During COVID-19Download PDF – October 2, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the National Governors Association encouraging governors to take steps to ensure that the most vulnerable populations maintain the ability to exercise their right to vote as the 2020 general election approaches and the U.S. continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with serious conditions are currently very cautious about why and how often they leave their homes. It is important that states offer similar flexibilities for these patients so they can take part in the election process safely and that in cases where rare, serious and chronic disease voters do decide to exercise their right to vote they may do so in a safe manner. The organizations also recommend that officials establish procedures to protect voters during future pandemics.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter to EPA on Proposed Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsDownload PDF – October 1 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the EPA on the proposed Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Strong ozone standards that reflect the current science are critical for ensuring that everyone has equitable access to clear air. The organizations are deeply concerned by the health threats from breathing ground-level ozone pollution and have a strong interest in standards that adequately protect our members, patients and communities. EPA’s proposed health-based ozone standard is at odds with the best available science, endangers public health, violates the Clean Air Act, and suffers from fatal procedural errors. The organizations urge EPA to reconsider the proposal and set the primary standard at no higher than 60 parts per billion (ppb).

AAFA and Other Organizations Release Telehealth PrinciplesDownload PDF – September 24, 2020
AAFA and other organizations representing millions of patients who live with serious, acute, and chronic conditions released principles to guide policymakers seeking to ensure patients can continue to safely access appropriate telehealth services during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role telehealth can play in helping all patients continue to receive timely and safe health care services and treatments from their providers. The organizations believe telehealth can and should be used to increase patient access to care. To permanently integrate it into the US health care system and ensure its integration drives the best care possible, new legislation and regulation will be necessary.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging a Science Focus Over Politics in the COVID-19 FightDownload PDF – September 22, 2020
AAFA and other organizations signed a letter directed to the leaders of federal health care agencies urging them to rise above the political considerations and focus on providing the American public with information about the well-established guidelines in place to ensure safe and effective COVID-19 prevention, detection, and treatment. The development of safe, effective vaccines and treatments are essential to protect the public’s health and restore the nation’s economy. Information and decisions that are perceived as anything less than science-based weaken the public’s confidence in research and innovation, and hinder adherence to mitigation efforts.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Enactment of FY2021 Defense Appropriations ActDownload PDF – September 10, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to work toward the enactment of the fiscal year 2021 Defense Appropriations Act, to ensure that the Defense Health Research Programs, including the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), are fully funded in fiscal year 2021. The organizations are particularly concerned about the possibility of Congress enacting a year-long continuing resolution in lieu of completing the fiscal year 2021 Defense Appropriations Act. Under a year-long continuing resolution the CDMRP would receive no funding in fiscal year 2021.  Failure to enact the Defense Appropriations Act will have major negative health implications for the millions of Americans – especially veterans, military service members and their families – who live with chronic and debilitating disorders. This will delay important new discoveries and translation of medical innovation into new treatments and cures for many disorders. 

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Comment Extension for Proposal to NAAQSDownload PDF – August 26, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting an extension for the comment deadline on the proposal to “Retain the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards” to at least 60 additional days after the end of the national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, or 60 additional days after the close of the currently scheduled comment period, whichever is later. The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone is vital for public health. A comment period for a rule such as this merits full public participation, especially from health and medical professionals who treat patients suffering from health issues related to air pollution and/or perform research on air pollution impacts. The organizations also request that EPA provide additional opportunities for public input.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Medicare Part D Copay AssistanceDownload PDF – August 19, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to rescind the current ban on the use of copay cards in the Medicare Part D program at least through the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Medicare beneficiaries are struggling to pay their drug copayments now more than ever. The HHS should exercise the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) enforcement discretion and issue a policy statement announcing that, for the period of the public health emergency, penalties will not be imposed on healthcare providers and suppliers that offer patient support programs to subsidize Medicare Part D beneficiary out-of-pocket costs. By improving access to necessary medications, we believe this important step will improve patient outcomes through better adherence to prescription regimens.

AAFA Signs Statement Opposing EPA Move to Rollback Protections from Oil and GasDownload PDF – August 13, 2020
AAFA and other organizations released a statement opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it is finalizing its proposal to weaken methane protections from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is driving climate change, which makes air pollution worse. Exposure to air pollution from oil and gas development increases the risk of respiratory illness, and as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, swift action must be taken to enhance key public health measures to keep people safe. The organizations call on EPA to keep these standards fully in place to limit air pollution and protect public health.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on EPA’s Proposed Clean Air Act Rulemaking ProcessDownload PDF – August 3, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, ‘Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process.’ The organizations strongly oppose the proposed rule as it is unnecessary and raises concerns about EPA’s ability to carry out the core principles of the Clean Air Act and urge the EPA to withdraw the proposal. There are invaluable health benefits to cleaning up air pollutants that could be further ignored under this proposed rule. In proposing this rule, EPA is opening up the opportunity for less protective air pollution standards and leaving the health of the American public hanging in the balance.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Climate Health After COVID-19Download PDF – July 21, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senators/Representatives stating that the U.S. must not only respond to the current crisis and improve preparedness to guard against future threats, it must also protect public health for the future by reducing greenhouse gases and other dangerous air pollutants at the same time. Air pollution poses a threat to the lung, heart, and developmental health of Americans, and is a particular threat to children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing conditions. The organizations outline opportunities as a first step that will have a multitude of benefits to public health, both immediately and into the future. They ask that any actions taken to create a post-COVID-19 world do not weaken the Clean Air Act or its authority granted to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on NPRM Provision Increasing Barriers to Access of CareDownload PDF – July 20, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the recent Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). The organizations are concerned that the proposed rule contains a provision that will increase barriers to access of care and put those individuals struggling with chronic and debilitating disease at risk for further health complications. The provision would require drug manufacturers to include the value of cost-sharing assistance when calculating best price unless they are able to prove that individuals utilizing patient assistance programs, such as copay assistance, are receiving 100% of intended benefits. The organizations are concerned that this burden of proof will undermine manufacturers’ ability to continue offering patient assistance programs to individuals in the larger commercial market. Many patients rely on these programs in order to afford vital drugs and treatments.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging EPA to Strengthen Ozone StandardDownload PDF – July 13, 2020
AAFA and other organizations released a statement urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a stronger limits on ozone pollution to protect public health. EPA has proposed keeping the standard for ozone pollution. There is powerful, overwhelming evidence that shows that this standard is not adequate to protect the health of Americans. EPA’s proposal violates the core purpose of these standards under the Clean Air Act: to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. Ozone pollution is dangerous. It can cause respiratory harm, asthma attacks, COPD exacerbations, heart attacks, strokes and premature death. EPA’s proposal ignores the long-standing wealth of scientific evidence pointing to the need for a more protective standard. The organizations urge EPA to listen to the best scientific evidence and the Clean Air Act and set the ozone pollution standard at no higher than 60 ppb to safeguard public health.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Congress to Strengthen Medicaid Program in COVID-19 Relief PackagesDownload PDF – June 30, 2020
AAFA, as part of the Modern Medicaid Alliance, sent a letter to Congress urging it to take immediate action to strengthen America’s Medicaid program in pending and future COVID-19 relief packages. The Alliance calls on Congress to enhance federal financing for Medicaid by increasing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by at least 12 percentage points, consistent with the request made by the bipartisan National Governors Association. Increased federal funding is urgently needed to continue delivering care and services that are critical to the growing number of Americans who rely on the Medicaid program. Over the past 50 years, Medicaid has played a critical role in helping Americans when they need it most and has acted as a safety net for vulnerable populations to receive high-quality, cost-effective care. More than 70 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid programs are offering additional services at low or no cost in order to support patients and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Electronic Labeling of Prescribing InformationDownload PDF – June 29, 2020
AAFA and other organizations, as supporters of the Alliance to Modernize Prescribing Information (AMPI), sent a letter urging Congress to remove all language from the FY2021 appropriations bill that would prevent the use of electronic labeling. Electronic labeling of prescribing information will help ensure that providers have access to the most up-to-date information available almost instantaneously, instead of the average 8-12 months that it often takes to develop, print, and deliver a paper label for prescribers. FDA published a proposed rule in 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 75506) that would provide for electronic distribution of prescribing information for human prescription drugs and biological products. Congress has used the appropriations process to block FDA from implementing its proposed rule. The letter supports efforts to advance regulatory or legislative reforms to facilitate the dissemination of FDA-approved pharmaceutical labeling information via modern digital platforms.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Increased COVID-19 Testing to Vulnerable CommunitiesDownload PDF – June 29, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting that as it continues to work to provide relief to Americans affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts to increase COVID-19 testing nationwide address the needs of our most vulnerable communities being hit hardest by the pandemic. The ongoing crisis has shined a light on existing health disparities that have left communities of color at increased risk of health complications and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented in low-income communities and are less likely to have access to health insurance, transportation to a doctor’s appointment, or savings to finance an emergency room visit. To bridge these unjust gaps in health equity and access, we must start by bringing testing and contact tracing that is culturally and linguistically appropriate into areas and communities facing the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, complications, and mortality. It is imperative that we address the needs of Americans whose health, socio-economic status, race, and zip code have put them at a disproportionately high risk of dire consequences related to COVID-19.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on EPA’s Proposed Rule on the NAAQS for Particulate MatterDownload PDF – June 26, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed rule on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072). Clear and compelling scientific evidence gained since EPA's last particulate matter NAAQS review shows that that fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) exposure is far more lethal and dangerous than previously understood. These public health impacts are wide-reaching and significant, and disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. The organizations oppose EPA's proposal to retain current, inadequate standards for PM 2.5, and strongly urge the agency to strengthen the standards. EPA's proposed fine particulate matter standards are at odds with the best available science, endanger public health, and violate the Clean Air Act. Science and public health protection must prevail over any other consideration when EPA sets the final NAAQS for particulate matter.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Comment Extension for Proposed EPA Clean Air ActDownload PDF – June 17, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting an extension of the comment deadline on the proposed rule “Increasing Consistency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process.” The requested extension is for at least 30 additional days after the end of the national emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or 30 additional days after the close of the currently scheduled comment period, whichever is later. EPA’s proposed rule could have profound implications for all future EPA rulemakings. Ending the established practice of including important secondary costs and benefits of proposed rules would diminish consideration of co-benefits in future cost-benefit analyses. Further, the proposal itself offers vague, unclear guidelines for eliminating the use of co-benefits. This lack of clarity places a significant burden on parties commenting to analyze for themselves the potential far-reaching impacts of EPA’s proposal. The organizations also request that EPA provide additional opportunities for public input, either virtually or, if it is safe to gather, in person.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding Cancellation of CBER APAC Open SessionDownload PDF – June 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the FDA regarding its decision to cancel the May 15, 2020, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research's (CBER) Allergenic Products Advisory Committee (APAC) open session to discuss and make recommendations on the safety and efficacy of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) Allergen Extract manufactured by DBV Technologies, S.A for treatment of patients 4 through 11 years old with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy. The letter acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact FDA’s ability to a timely review and the hosting of a traditional open public hearing on this matter; however, the organizations feel strongly the community deserves a formal opportunity to be heard regarding this important topic. Significant unmet need remains for the 3 million Americans living with peanut allergy. As peanut allergy prevalence continues to rise at alarming rates, it is imperative that FDA accelerate access to safe and effective treatments.

AAFA Signs Letter Sharing Concerns About ICER’s COVID-19 Pricing ModelsDownload PDF – June 10, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), to share concerns about its Alternative Pricing Models for Remdesivir and Other Potential Treatments for COVID-19. The communities of the organizations are particularly vulnerable during the current COVID-19 crisis, being at heightened risk for severe disease when contracting the virus. The new value assessment, also intended for use on future treatments for COVID-19, is riddled with methodological flaws due to its hasty development and completely ignores the tremendous amount of stakeholder feedback ICER has received over the last five years on its framework and processes. This cost effectiveness model devalues the lives of older adults and ignores crucial benefits to patients and society. ICER’s models are based on flawed assumptions. The organizations urge ICER to pause any future development of assessments related to COVID-19 and focus on partnering with stakeholders in the development of rigorous and patient-centered methodologies.

AAFA's Letter on Racial Justice from President and CEO, Kenneth MendezDownload PDF – June 5, 2020
The losses of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and so many others who have been unjustly killed are a horrific reminder that racism is a sickness that’s plagued us far longer than COVID-19. We’re seeing COVID-19 take a disproportionate toll on Black, Native and Hispanic Americans. The same sharp inequities exist in the population we serve affected by asthma. The violence aimed at Black Americans and the health disparities we’d like to eradicate both have the shameful link of extreme racial bias. We want you to know that we are here for you. In the coming weeks, AAFA is set to release a new report on asthma disparities in the United States. This is one part of AAFA’s multi-year, strategic focus to dramatically reduce asthma disparities for underserved and marginalized groups. We trust the core values we embody at AAFA reflect everyone’s desire to act against racism, injustice and all forms of inequity. AAFA is going to keep fighting for you and alongside you, and we’re not going to stop until we achieve equality for all.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Comment Extension on Review of the NAAQS for PMDownload PDF – May 29, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, the Administrator of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting an extension of the comment period on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM). The requested extension is for at least 30 additional days after the end of the national emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or 30 additional days after the close of the originally scheduled comment period to July 28, 2020, whichever is later. The particulate matter standards drive pollution cleanup and will impact the health and well-being of millions of Americans. The setting of standards that are requisite to protect the public health with an adequate margin of safety is a core obligation required by the Clean Air Act. The organizations believe that an extension of this comment period will provide them and other stakeholders, particularly those in the health and medical community, greater opportunity for full and meaningful public participation.

AAFA Sends Letter Concerning the FDA Relaxing Food Labeling RequirementsDownload PDF – May 28, 2020
AAFA sent a letter, signed by 13 other organizations, to Dr. Susan Mayne, the Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the FDA’s recent guidance relaxing certain food labeling requirements for industry in the context of the COVID epidemic. The letter recommends that the FDA require a manufacturer that makes any substitution to simply put a statement detailing the change in ingredient(s) on their website, including date and lot information, and to use their social media to help disseminate this message. The organizations recognize both the dire situation prompting this temporary guidance, as well as the FDA’s effort to include language specific to food allergy, including the top eight as well as sesame and other increasingly prevalent allergies. With a clear requirement that all substitutions be posted publicly, they feel confident that the risk to the consumer can be minimized to no more than baseline.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing EPA’s SNPRM to Transparency RuleDownload PDF – May 18, 2020
AAFA and 54 other organizations sent a letter strongly opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to the “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rulemaking. Like the original proposed rule, this supplemental proposal would undermine sound science and put Americans’ health and the environment at risk. The supplemental proposal goes further than EPA’s original proposal by dramatically expanding the scope of the rulemaking. By including “influential scientific information” in addition to significant regulatory actions, EPA’s ability to use the best science available is further restricted. The organizations are deeply concerned with EPA’s continued efforts to impede the use of critical science and implore the agency to withdraw the proposal.

AAFA Signs Letter Sent to VP of Patient Engagement at ICERDownload PDF – May 12, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Yvette Venable, Vice President of Patient Engagement, at the Institute of Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) applauding the creation of her position and to offer to partner with her in her work. The organizations hope to work with Ms. Venable to ensure that ICER develops and implements a robust and meaningful patient engagement framework. These organizations have worked across the spectrum of health care – including life sciences innovation, payer decision-making and value assessment – with missions to improve the quality of life for patients and people with disabilities. They hope that Ms. Venable will engage with them and take advantage of their real-world patient engagement experiences and lessons learned.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Proper Policies for Food Allergies Upon Schools ReopeningDownload PDF – May 6, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning the CDC’s draft guidance for reopening schools that recommend “students eat lunch in their classrooms.” While understanding the need for a policy change with respect to how children eat at school to help maximize physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations’ concern is to ensure the safety of the millions of food allergic children attending school, where food allergens will now be increasingly present in the classroom as a result of the accommodations outlined in the draft guidance. The recommendation would be that in any classroom where there is a food allergic child, to reinforce strict handwashing with soap and water after food contact, disinfecting of surfaces after food contact is made, and blanket “do not share” food policy. Also, prior to teachers and school leaders returning they should refresh their understanding of food allergies, the medical conditions of their individual students, and the symptoms of food allergic reactions as well as how to appropriately respond.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Withdraw From California v. TexasDownload PDF – May 6, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, urging him to withdraw from current litigation, California v. Texas, that is challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today, the ACA ensures that millions of Americans can seek diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19-related conditions. In the face of a pandemic, preserving the protections afforded by health insurance coverage for such a sizable portion of the population is vital. Also complicating the public health emergency are the economic consequences, which have precipitated a sharp recession. With unemployment rising, the ACA will provide a safety net for millions of vulnerable Americans. For the many who lose their job and, consequently, their employer-sponsored health coverage, the ACA’s subsidized marketplace plans, accessible through federal- and state-run exchanges, can offer affordable options. The United States cannot risk destabilizing its already-strained health care sector by eliminating a deeply-entrenched law that offers important public health benefits. Nor can millions of Americans afford to lose access to COVID-19 treatment, vaccines and health care generally.

AAFA Endorses Asthma & Allergy Caucus Letter to the FDA About Shortage of Albuterol InhalersDownload PDF – April 24, 2020
AAFA endorsed a letter sent to Commissioner Stephen Hanh, M.D. of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Asthma & Allergy Caucus about shortages of albuterol inhalers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are critical to effective asthma management. In a press release sent by the Asthma & Allergy Caucus, AAFA’s President and CEO Kenneth Mendez states, “With the increased demand for albuterol cannisters from hospitals, we want to make sure there’s ready access of albuterol for people with asthma. Albuterol is the primary rescue medication to treat asthma attacks and without albuterol, people are more likely to experience asthma attacks that they can’t control. This could potentially increase hospitalizations. Our hope is that state, federal and private sectors coordinate efforts to protect access to asthma drugs before any official shortage is recorded."

AAFA Signs Letter to FDA Urging Public Disclosure of Certain Tobacco ProductsDownload PDF – April 23, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to disclose the information necessary for the public to know the products for which premarket applications have been filed and are undergoing the premarket review mandated by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as well as to identify those products still being marketed in violation of that statute. The disclosure of this information is necessary to allow the public to determine the extent of industry compliance with the court-ordered deadline for filing premarket applications, as well as to monitor the FDA’s enforcement of the September 9 deadline going forward. The disclosure by the FDA of a list of new and deemed products for which a September 9 filing was necessary to continue on the market free of possible FDA enforcement actions also would materially assist the public in knowing whether new tobacco products continue to be marketed even though their manufacturers did not meet the September 9 deadline.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Legislation to Ensure the Accessibility of CareDownload PDF – April 23, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging Congress, as they are taking action responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to advance legislation that ensures all families across our nation have the ability to seek the care they need to stay healthy. The organizations encourage Congress to build on past bipartisan efforts and ensure all individuals have equitable access to testing and treatment for COVID-19; equip states and localities with sufficient financial support to combat the crisis; provide protection and support to the health care workforce and others on the frontlines of the pandemic; assure access and capacity in the health system; and protect against high and unexpected health care costs.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing Rule Undermining the Mercury and Air Toxics StandardsDownload PDF – April 16, 2020
AAFA and 21 other health and medical groups released a statement opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcing a final rule that threatens to undermine the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The rule goes against scientific evidence, and devalues and endangers the health of babies, children, pregnant women, and many other vulnerable populations. Limits on mercury and air toxics are backed by the health and medical community, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, faith-based organizations, and even many electric power companies. These protections have been in place for eight years. They are working to keep our air clean and safe. This rule could erode public health and set a dangerous precedent. With this rule, the agency rejected scientific evidence showing that limits on mercury and air toxics are ‘appropriate and necessary’ to protect health, claiming that the costs of the standards outweigh the benefits.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Health Care Resource Rationing Comply with Federal Nondiscrimination LawsDownload PDF – April 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Secretary Alex Azar and Director Roger Severino of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging the Department’s Office for Civil Rights to issue additional guidance to ensure that schemes to ration scarce health care resources during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic comply with federal nondiscrimination laws. Many states and hospitals plan to rely on Crisis Standard of Care plans to inform providers how to make decisions on the allocation and re-allocation of scarce medical re-sources. Too many of these plans, however, discriminate based on disability and age, devaluing the lives of people with disabilities and older adults. If implemented, they would deny life-saving treatment to people based on disabilities or age that have nothing to do with their ability to benefit from care and survive COVID-19. It is essential that the federal government provide guidance to states and health care providers setting forth clear requirements to ensure that the health care rationing decisions comply with federal nondiscrimination laws.

AAFA Signs Thank You Letter for HSA/FSA Flexibility ProvisionDownload PDF – April 16, 2020
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, sent a letter to Senators thanking them for their work to expand Americans’ access to self-treatment options during a critical moment in the COVID-19 crisis. Their efforts to make Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA) more accessible are also making social distancing easier and freeing up needed financial resources during a time when many are experiencing economic hardship. The HSA/FSA flexibility provision they championed in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act expands two important health benefits to Americans. First, the repeal of the over-the-counter prescription requirement enables Americans who experience mild illnesses to treat their symptoms at home. Second, the law increases the affordability of basic women’s healthcare by adding menstrual care products to HSA/FSA eligibility.

AAFA Signs Statement Opposing EPA’s Weak Limits on Particle PollutionDownload PDF – April 14, 2020
AAFA and 18 other health and medical organizations released a statement strongly opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to maintain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. This proposal keeps weak limits on particle pollution, placing the health of millions at risk. The nation needs stronger limits on particulate matter air pollution to protect public health. The organizations are disappointed with the EPA’s proposal to keep the current, inadequate standards for this lethal pollutant in place, and call on the agency to follow the science and finalize stronger standards into law. Particle pollution is deadly, and that the current limits do not sufficiently protect Americans – especially children with asthma and adults with lung and heart disease.

AAFA Signs Letter to Congress on COVID-19, Climate and Health Download PDF – April 13, 2020
AAFA and other medical and public health organizations sent a letter urging Congress to design legislation that protects Americans from public health emergencies, as it addresses the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 demonstrates clearly that we need to heed science and health experts, and that the earlier we take action to prevent and prepare for the worst, the more lives will be saved. Investments now can prevent future health emergencies, including both future pandemics and the worsening health impacts of climate change. Congress should use the massive investments of the coronavirus response legislation wisely to build resilience in the face of climate-related public health threats. These investments can improve community health, reduce health care costs, and reduce the risk of catastrophic health impacts.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging Key Public Health Measures to Slow Spread of COVID-19Download PDF – April 10, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to Bill McBride, the Executive Director of the National Governors Association urging all governors to enact and maintain key public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. One in thirteen Americans – nearly 25 million people – are living with asthma. Preliminary analysis of U.S. COVID-19 cases with data available on underlying conditions reflects that people with chronic lung disease, including asthma, are among those at higher risk of severe disease. Over 4 million Americans living with asthma are also 65 years old or older, likely rendering them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 complications and death. AAFA urges all governors to follow the public health evidence by enforcing social distancing and encourage mask wearing in accordance with CDC recommendations.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Expansion of COVID-19 Paid Medical LeaveDownload PDF – April 9, 2020
AAFA and 157 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to expand eligibility for the paid family and medical leave program to include individuals determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be at high risk for adverse complications from COVID-19 and working members of their households. This policy will allow those at highest risk to remain home for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and will help ensure their health and safety. Currently, paid family medical leave provides support only to those with children or adults with disabilities whose local school district or usual care providers are closed due to the pandemic. This places individuals who live with significant health conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, organ transplants, sickle cell and others with a devastating choice: place their health or their loved one’s health at risk by going back to work or lose their jobs altogether. Additionally, adults living with family members who are immunocompromised also need access to this support to help protect these vulnerable Americans.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter to FDA Requesting Action on Asthma Drug Shortages Due to COVID-19Download PDF – April 7, 2020
AAFA sent a comment letter to Commissioner Stephen Halm, M.D. of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressing concern about asthma drug shortages in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand has increased sharply for a number of drugs used to treat COVID-19, including albuterol, a drug used to treat asthma. However, many adults and children with asthma rely on albuterol inhalers as a quick-relief medication to treat asthma attacks, as do patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We are concerned that the increased demand for albuterol from hospitals, combined with recommendations that patients seek extended supplies of their prescription medications, is making it harder for people with asthma to access albuterol. Without albuterol, people are more likely to experience asthma attacks they cannot control, potentially increasing hospitalizations.

AAFA Signs Letter Asking Action be Taken to Alleviate Shortage of Ventilators and PPEDownload PDF – April 3, 2020
AAFA and more than 200 other organizations sent a letter to Peter Navarro, Ph.D., Assistant to the President and Policy Coordinator, National Defense Act; Peter T. Gaynor, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and Robert P. Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services. The letter asks that the Administration take immediate action to alleviate the critical shortage across the nation of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, face shields and gowns, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The current policy is not sufficient to fully address this crisis and additional, urgent action is required to protect the public’s health and save lives. A streamlined and predictable supply chain must emerge that is capable of lasting the duration of the pandemic. Our nation is relying on healthcare providers to carry us through this crisis and they, in turn, are relying on the federal government to equip them to do so.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter on DOT’s Traveling by Air with Service Animals ProposalDownload PDF – April 2, 2020
AAFA sent a comment letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Traveling by Air with Service Animals. AAFA supports the proposal, which balances the needs of people who rely on service animals, including psychiatric service animals, with the health and safety of other passengers and crew but asks the DOT to go further in requiring airlines to accommodate the needs and rights of asthma and allergy travelers. Specifically, people with medical documentation of severe allergies to animals, or of asthma triggered by animal dander, should be able to access seating a specific distance from any animal on a flight. Therefore, AAFA asks that DOT include in the final rule a requirement that airlines provide reasonable accommodations for passengers with documented allergies or asthma necessitating distance from any service animals, pets, or, for airlines that choose to permit them, emotional support animals in an airplane cabin.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Continued Strength of the Pharmaceuticals or Medical Device Supply ChainDownload PDF – March 27, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump requesting that any policy action taken surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic through Executive Order or in coordination with Congress does not restrict access to — or destabilize the supply chain for — currently available pharmaceuticals or medical devices. While supply chains for a broad range of U.S. industries are stressed due to the global COVID-19 crisis and a number of factors related to the crisis have already raised concerns about shortages, it is important that there are no measures taken that could undermine the complex arrangements between firms that allow for efficient delivery of medicines to patients. Today, patients in the United States and around the world depend on the use of global supply chains that facilitate ongoing access to needed medicines. Keeping that supply chain strong is even more critical as we fight a global pandemic.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter to CMS Supporting Medicare Part D ProposalDownload PDF –; March 27, 2020
AAFA sent a comment letter to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in regard to the notice of proposed rulemaking for ‘Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.’ The letter expresses support of CMS’s proposal to allow Medicare Part D plans to create a preferred specialty tier with lower cost sharing, with robust oversight to ensure that this option promotes lower costs and beneficiary access. AAFA urges CMS to develop plans to monitor the uptake and implementation of the second specialty tier option among plans, and to carefully assess the effects on patient costs and access.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Inclusion of Medications Access in Third COVID-19 Package Download PDF – March 20, 2020
AAFA and 95 other organizations sent a letter to the United States House of Representatives and Senate urging Congress to include provisions regarding access to medications and supplies for people of all ages in the third COVID-19 legislative package. People with chronic conditions need access to essential and lifesaving medications and supplies on a regular basis. The letter urges Congress to take action to assist people with chronic health conditions to protect themselves in this crisis and maintain access to their medications. Removing barriers to obtaining medications, including limits on refills or other efforts to ensure supply of these medications, will keep the people these organizations represent out of hospitals and doctors’ offices, freeing up space for those with COVID-19.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Extension of SNPR Comment PeriodDownload PDF – March 20, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting at minimum a 60-day extension of the deadline to comment on the Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPR). The SNPR appeared in the Federal Register on March 18, 2020 with a comment deadline of April 17, 2020 and is a significant expansion and revision to the original notice of proposed rulemaking that requires careful analysis and review. The SNPR notice includes two new alternative pathways for the rulemaking, an expansion of the scientific information covered, and an expansion of the EPA processes included. These changes require careful analysis and review, and a 30-day comment period is not sufficient.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Inclusion of Nonprofits in COVID-19 Aid Packages Download PDF – March 20, 2020
AAFA and 212 other organizations sent a letter to the United States House and Senate urging the inclusion of nonprofit patient advocacy community-based organizations within any federal aid packages or supplemental appropriations measures supporting the airline, travel, and other targeted industries impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. Many nonprofit organizations have been and will be significantly harmed by reduced charitable giving, travel restrictions, fund-raising event cancellations, and reduced meeting attendance as a result of COVID-19.

AAFA Sends Letter on Airline Passenger ExperienceDownload PDF – March 13, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair, Rick Larsen, and Ranking Member, Garrett Graves, of the Subcommittee on Aviation of the U.S. House of Representatives surrounding the hearing that was held on March 3rd on the Airline Passenger Experience. AAFA is encouraging the Commitee to ensure that the continued work in this area takes into account the experiences of passengers with asthma or allergies, both disabilities requiring accommodation. Travel by plane can be particularly risky for these passengers, particularly if they experience an asthma attack or allergic reaction mid-flight. AAFA has supported many common-sense policy goals to help protect the safety and lives of children and adults with allergies and asthma as air travelers. AAFA urges the Committee to affirmatively include people with these potentially fatal conditions, asthma or allergies, in their work on the passenger experience, so that we can reduce the risk of preventable serious injury and death.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Anaphylaxis Related Bill S.7085Download PDF – March 10, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to New York State Senator Jessica Ramos supporting bill S.7085, an act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring cafeteria staff to be trained in preventing and responding to anaphylaxis. Food allergies are affecting a growing number of American children and adults. Exposure to the allergen can cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis and, in rare cases, death. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. The protection S.7085 provides requiring cafeteria staff to be trained to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Sends Letter to FAA Urging Airplane Regulations that Require Epinephrine Auto-Injectors OnboardDownload PDF – March 9, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Steve Dickson, urging him to issue regulations requiring airplanes to include epinephrine auto-injectors in adult and pediatric dosages in all onboard emergency medical kits. Airplanes are a fraught environment for people with allergies, particularly food allergies. Food residue can be present on all surfaces, and people are seated in close quarters with others who are eating. Epinephrine autoinjectors should be available in the first aid kit within the plane’s cabin so that they can be quickly accessed and used.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging a Package of Strong Clean Energy Tax IncentivesDownload PDF – March 9, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Committee on Finance urging them to enact a package of strong clean energy tax incentives in 2020. Investments in clean energy are critical to combatting the harmful health effects of air pollution and climate change. We must deploy every tool we have to accelerate the just transition to a clean energy economy in order to address climate change and protect the health of our communities across the country, especially those communities that are disproportionately vulnerable to air pollution and climate change impacts.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding Increase for CDC’s OHS in FY 2021Download PDF – March 9, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate urging them to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) by $80 million, for a total of $310 million in the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This increase is needed to respond to soaring e-cigarette usage rates among youth and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health. Additional resources will allow OSH to address the new threat to public health posed by skyrocketing rates of youth e-cigarette use while continuing to prevent and reduce other forms of tobacco use.

AAFA Signs Letter Encouraging Asthma Trigger Remediation as a Separate ILOSDownload PDF – March 6, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senior Advisor Jacey Cooper of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). The letter encourages DCHS to reconsider including Environmental Asthma Trigger Remediation as an In Lieu of Services (ILOS) separate from other ILOS as part of the Medi-Cal Healthier California for All (MHCA) proposal. Including Asthma Trigger Remediation as an ILOS will provide a much-needed service for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with poorly controlled asthma. Additionally, the Asthma Trigger Remediation ILOS will be most impactful if there is the appropriate workforce and relationships available to deliver the home visiting requirement. DHCS should articulate plans to submit a complementary State Plan Amendment (SPA) invoking the Preventive Services Rule to make asthma preventive services by a non-licensed provider a reimbursable benefit.

AAFA Signs Letter for Funding of National Asthma Control Program for FY 2021Download PDF – March 4, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Senate asking to support a $4 million increase in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program, bringing funding to $34.0 million for FY 2021. This request would allow the program to fund additional states that have already been approved to combat the terrible human and economic burden caused by asthma. Asthma remains a serious and costly health issue in our nation. This program is making a difference in improving disease outcomes. Public health programs that reduce the burden of asthma must include surveillance, environmental measures to reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, awareness and self-management education and appropriate healthcare services.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increase to FDA Food Allergen Labeling WorkDownload PDF – March 4, 2020
AAFA and other allergy and consumer organizations sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives asking Congress to provide a $3 million increase to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food allergen labeling work. Food allergy in the United States is now a public health crisis impacting more than 32 million Americans, many who suffer from serious and potentially life-threatening food allergies. Allergen declarations on foods are a key protection that allows Americans with food allergy to avoid serious and even life-threatening reactions. The FDA helps ensure allergens are clearly declared through research, testing, guidance, inspections, and enforcement. Protecting consumers with food allergy is a critical part of FDA’s important work ensuring that our foods are safe and properly labeled.

AAFA Sends Letter Expressing Support for S.B. 477Download PDF – February 28, 2020 
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Maryland State Senate Finance Committee, expressing strong support for S.B. 477, an act concerning Public Health – Emergency Use Auto–Injectable Epinephrine Program –Revisions. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. Children and adults who have severe food allergies need epinephrine with them at all times to promptly treat anaphylaxis. In situations where a person does not have access to epinephrine (they may not have their prescribed auto-injector with them, or they could be experiencing their first-ever reaction to a certain allergen), the reaction can become life-threatening. The protection S.B. 477 provides by allowing trained personnel of authorized food service facilities to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC’s NCEH in FY 2021Download PDF – February 28, 2020
AAFA and other public health, environmental health and other supporting organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to provide at least $243 million to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury and even death. Adequate investments today and into the future in core environmental health activities can be a critical down payment on health, productivity and happiness of countless Americans.

AAFA Signs Letters Urging Funding for NIEHS in FY 2021Download PDF – February 26, 2020
AAFA, as a member of the Friends of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) sent letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, urging them to provide $860.3 million for the NIEHS in the FY 2021 Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies appropriation bill. NIEHS research encompasses all types of exposures that can impact human health, including air pollution, endocrine disruptors, nanomaterials, and other contaminants. The results of NIEHS research provide policymakers with essential, unbiased science to support informed decision-making affecting our health. Children are uniquely vulnerable to harmful substances in their environment, and the NIEHS plays a critical role in uncovering the connections between environmental exposures and children's health. The NIEHS is poised to generate many new exciting discoveries about the impact of environmental factors on human health.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for the Superfund Research Program in FY 2021Download PDF – February 26, 2020
AAFA, as a member of the Friends of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) sent letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, urging them to provide $84 million for the Superfund Research program in FY 2021. The NIEHS’s Superfund Program (SRP) supports research to address the health impacts from hazardous substances in the environment, develop clean-up technologies for hazardous waste, advance new risk assessment methods, and train the future generation of scientists to work in interdisciplinary research teams to tackle such problems. The SRP provides the scientific research used by the Worker Training Program (WTP) to train hazardous waste workers, to accelerate remediation efforts, and to prevent health consequences related to toxicant exposure. If the opportunity to meet the current investment needs of the SRP and WTP is passed by, we risk reversing a variety of public health, environmental, and economic gains of the past 25 years.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC Programs in FY 2021Download PDF – February 26, 2020
AAFA, members of the CDC Coalition, and other supporting state and national organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to provide at least $8.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter to the EPA Regarding a Cleaner Truck InitiativeDownload PDF – February 20, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a comment letter to Administrator Andrew Wheeler of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for the Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine Standards. A carefully designed and health-protective Cleaner Truck Initiative (CTI) to control harmful emissions from the heavy-duty vehicle sector is critical to protecting human health from nearby sources of truck traffic, as well as ensure attainment of health-protective clean air standards. Americans are suffering due to poor air quality driven in large part by the heavy-duty trucking sector. A strong, durable rule that ensures all regions are supported in achieving clean air standards is vitally important and these organizations look forward to engaging in the upcoming rulemaking process to ensure public health protection maintains a central role.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the Clean Economy ActDownload PDF – February 11, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to Senator Carper supporting the Clean Economy Act. Under this bill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies would use their existing authority to achieve the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Climate change is a health emergency. Children, seniors, pregnant women, low-income communities, some communities of color, people with disabilities and people with chronic disease bear a disproportionate burden of the health impacts of climate change. The organizations strongly support the Clean Economy Act’s goal and its requirement that EPA “achieve rapid greenhouse gas emissions reductions, based on the best available science, to protect public health and welfare from the effects of climate change,” and the requirement that the plan “reduce and minimize pollution and cumulative environmental effects” in disproportionately impacted communities.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support for the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019Download PDF – February 4, 2020
AAFA and 75 other organizations sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging support for H.R. 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019. Use of e-cigarettes by youth has escalated rapidly in recent years, placing a new generation at risk of nicotine addiction and tobacco use. Its prohibition on flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes, flavored cigars, and menthol cigarettes, is needed to stop tobacco companies from targeting and addicting kids with enticing flavors. Flavors are a key reason for widespread youth use of e-cigarettes. In addition to its prohibition on flavored tobacco products, this Act includes a number of other provisions that will help to reduce youth use of e-cigarettes and use of other tobacco products.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting S.B. 530Download PDF – January 30, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to Virginia State Senator George Barker expressing strong support for S.B. 530, a bill to amend and reenact §§ 8.01-225 and 54.1-3408 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the possession and administration of epinephrine by certain individuals. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. Children and adults who have severe food allergies need epinephrine with them at all times to promptly treat anaphylaxis. In situations where a person does not have access to epinephrine (they may not have their prescribed auto-injector with them, or they could be experiencing their first-ever reaction to a certain allergen), the reaction can become life-threatening. The protection S.B.530 provides by allowing trained restaurant staff to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis will save lives.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Santa Clara County’s Subsidized Medication Pilot ProgramDownload PDF – January 27, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors supporting Santa Clara County’s Subsidized Medication Pilot Program. This innovative program will make epinephrine auto-injectors, asthma inhalers, and insulin more affordable for residents of Santa Clara County. AAFA believes that cost should not be a barrier to these crucial medications and devices. Making drugs accessible and affordable for our patient communities through a range of policy efforts at the state and federal levels has long been a major policy priority for AAFA. Residents of Santa Clara County, like many families around the country, continue to face challenges in accessing asthma inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors. AAFA believes that we need systemic changes – including broad solutions to soaring drug prices; prompt availability of generics; and comprehensive, affordable, insurance – to improve access to drugs for our community and for all Americans.

AAFA Sends Letters Expressing Support for S.B. 642Download PDF – January 17, 2020
AAFA sent letters to New Hampshire State Senators Lou D’Allesandro, Tom Sherman and Martha Fuller Clark expressing strong support for S.B. 642, an act relative to the administration of epinephrine. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. Children and adults who have severe food allergies need epinephrine with them at all times to promptly treat anaphylaxis. In situations where a person does not have access to epinephrine (they may not have their prescribed auto-injector with them, or they could be experiencing their first-ever reaction to a certain allergen), the reaction can become life-threatening. The protection S.B.642 provides by allowing trained staff or agents of authorized entities to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Regarding the Proposed Updates to the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, EPR-4Download PDF – January 17, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in response to their request for information on “Update on Selected Topics in Asthma Management: A Report from the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Coordinating Committee (NAEPPCC) Expert Panel Working Group.” This report, also known as Expert Panel Report-4 (EPR-4) is a much needed update of the current guidelines from 2007. The workgroup used findings from five systematic reviews to update the guidelines in the following topic areas: Role of Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Asthma, Intermittent Inhaled Corticosteroids and Long-Acting Muscarinic Antagonist for Asthma, Effectiveness of Indoor Allergen Reduction in Management of Asthma, Effectiveness and Safety of Bronchial Thermoplasty in Management of Asthma, and The Clinical Utility of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) in Asthma Management. You can find the full EPR-4 report here.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Food Allergy Awareness Act HB 1102Download PDF – January 16, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the New Hampshire House of Representatives Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee supporting HB 1102. HB 1102 is an Act requiring food service establishments to establish food allergy awareness procedures. Adverse reactions to foods at restaurants are common, and account for a large share of food allergy fatalities. Going to restaurants can therefore cause significant stress for families managing food allergies. Many restaurants and restaurant workers are not aware of, or are not using, practices to improve food allergy safety. Making restaurants safer could help prevent allergic reactions and deaths and let people with food allergies engage more fully in social activities with their family and friends with less fear and stress. AAFA therefore strongly supports the bill to improve allergy awareness and safe practices in New Hampshire restaurants.

AAFA Testifies Before House Committee About H.R. 2468 Download PDF – January 8, 2020
AAFA’s CEO and President, Kenneth Mendez participated in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on Legislation to Improve Americans’ Health Care Coverage and Outcomes. Mendez provided his and AAFA’s support of H.R. 2468, the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act. The bill is a bipartisan effort to promote health and safety for millions of children living with asthma and food allergies. The implementation of H.R. 2468 would promote and create a preference within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) existing asthma grant program for states that require schools to take a series of actions to address asthma and food allergies.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Regarding AHRQ’s Review of Existing Asthma Self-Management Education Packages Download PDF – December 24, 2019
AAFA sent a letter to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) regarding their draft technical brief, “Characteristics of Existing Asthma Self-Management Education Packages.” The purpose of the brief was to identify components that compromise asthma self-management education (AS-ME) packages used in the U.S., and examine, compare, and organize their key characteristics and available research to enable a better understanding of current practice and future needs. AAFA asthma programs ASTHMA Care for Adults, Wee Breathers, Asthma Basics for Children and You Can Control Asthma were included in the review and acknowledged for the wide range of audiences these programs reach, from children and their parents and caregivers to adults living with asthma. AAFA recommends that all asthma self-management education includes quality of life questionnaires, review of medications and inhalation technique, checklists to identify indoor and outdoor allergens and triggers and reduction strategies, the importance of using an asthma action plan, and follow-up post education to determine if lifestyle or behavior changes have been made to improve asthma.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding the TennCare II Demonstration Amendment 42: Block Grant Download PDF – December 20, 2019
AAFA and other organizations submitted a comment letter to Administrator Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the TennCare II Demonstration Amendment 42: Block Grant. The groups oppose Tennessee’s proposal to change the financing structure for its Medicaid program to a block grant. The purpose of the Medicaid program is to provide health care coverage for low-income individuals and families. The waiver proposal will jeopardize beneficiaries’ access to care and would include vulnerable eligibility groups such as children and people with disabilities in the block grant. The core objective of the Medicaid program is to furnish health care to low-income and needy populations. This waiver does not further that goal and the organizations oppose the proposal.

AAFA Sends Letter to FDA Requesting Sesame Labeling Discussion Download PDF – December 18, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Anna Abram, the Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Legislation, and International Affairs of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting a meeting to discuss the status of the agency’s efforts in sesame labeling. The FDA has initiated action regarding sesame allergy, requesting information to inform potential labeling requirements. Uniform and easily understandable labels will help Americans with sesame allergies and their families safely navigate their food choices and avoid preventable reactions.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on FDA's Proposed Rule on PMTAs Download PDF – December 16, 2019
AAFA and other organizations submitted a comment letter on Docket No. 2019-N-2854, the proposed rule for Premarket Tobacco Product Applications and Recordkeeping Requirements. The proposed rule is designed to inform tobacco product manufacturers and the public about requirements for submission of Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (“PMTAs”), related recordkeeping requirements, requirements for post-market information gathering and reporting, and the process FDA will use in the evaluation of PMTAs. The comment letter addresses these areas with principal emphasis on the requirements for submission of PMTAs.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Final Negotiations on FY 2020 Defense Appropriations ActDownload PDF –December 9, 2019
AAFA and 102 other organization sent a letter urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to complete final negotiations on the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Defense Appropriations Act and move the bill through the House and Senate toward enactment. The organizations are concerned about the possibility of Congress enacting a long-term continuing resolution in lieu of a fiscal year 2020 Defense Appropriations Act. Per the Department of the Defense, under this scenario, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs would receive no funding in fiscal year 2020. Failure to enact a final bill will have major negative health implications for the millions of Americans – especially veterans – suffering from chronic and debilitating disorders.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Dockets Relating to Epinephrine and Anaphylactic PoliciesDownload PDF –December 3, 2019
AAFA sent a letter to the Council of State Governments’ Suggested Legislation Committee leadership: Co-Chair Representative Kim Koppelman of the North Dakota House of Representatives, Co-Chair Representative Kevin Ryan of the Connecticut General Assembly; and Vice Chair Jerry L. Bassett of the Alabama Legislative Services Agency. The letter expresses AAFA’s strong support for Docket #07-41A-12, 2019 Illinois HB 3435; Docket #07-41A-13, 2019 New York SB 218; and Docket #07-41A-29, 2015 New Jersey A 304. These laws concern the regulation and coverage of epinephrine autoinjectors for children 18 and younger, anaphylactic policies for childcare services, and emergency administration of epinephrine to students for anaphylaxis, respectively. These pieces of legislation are evidence-based and will reduce reactions and risk for children and provide peace of mind to families managing food allergies if replicated in other states.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the 100% Clean Economy ActDownload PDF – November 21, 2019
AAFA and other health and medication organizations sent a letter to Representatives expressing support of the 100% Clean Economy Act and its goal of reaching net-zero climate pollution by 2050. Meeting this goal is essential to protecting public health. The groups support the Act’s requirement that federal agencies take actions that improve public health, especially among communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution and climate change. The nation must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cleaning up other harmful emissions from polluting sources at the same time.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Congress to Address Delayed Patient Access in Medicare Part D Download PDF – November 18, 2019
AAFA and 22 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to prioritize policies that support access to lower-cost generic drugs and biosimilars. The letter requests that any comprehensive drug pricing legislation addresses the pressing issue of delayed patient access to generic medicines in Medicare Part D. Failure to solve this problem will only increase beneficiary and health system costs, and harm patients who desperately need greater access to affordable medicines. Ensuring timely and proper access to affordable medicines is an important step in lowering patient costs at the pharmacy counter and reducing overall Medicare spending.

AAFA Releases Statement on Inhalers and Greenhouse GasesDownload PDF – November 14, 2019
AAFA released a statement regarding a recent study that found the delivery system used for some asthma medicines (gases used in metered dose inhalers) may have a negative impact on global warming. AAFA believes patients, healthcare providers, and policy makers must keep these findings in perspective. AAFA urges those with asthma to continue taking their asthma medicines as advised by their health care provider as asthma can be fatal without proper treatment. Different asthma medicines work well for different people and switching to a new medicine may be inappropriate. AAFA supports clean air policies and encourages people to take steps to reduce our individual contributions to climate change. However, we recommend focus remain on other large-scale improvements we can make to reduce carbon footprints, methane and ozone emissions.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Concern Over EPA Proposed RuleDownload PDF – November 13, 2019
AAFA and 61 other groups sent a letter to the House of Representatives expressing concern over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rule. The group supports the goal of improving the transparency of science and access to data. However, there are many credible scientific studies where the exposure of raw data to the public is infeasible or would reveal confidential patient or research participant information. If EPA excludes studies because the data cannot be made public, people may be exposed to real harm. The result would be decisions affecting millions based on inadequate information that fails to include well-supported studies by expert scientists.

AAFA Signs Letter Thanking the House for H.R. 1922 LegislationDownload PDF – October 22, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, sent a letter to the House of Representatives applauding efforts to restore over-the-counter (“OTC”) medications to full tax-preferred status, eliminating the need to first obtain a prescription. The House’s legislation, H.R. 1922, will create efficiencies and improve access to care within the U.S. healthcare system. Americans’ concerns about rising healthcare costs are growing. H.R. 1922 is a common-sense policy that will help American families better manage their healthcare needs. The Coalition also thanks the House for broadening support for this legislation by crafting a bipartisan bill that extends HSA/FSA eligibility to feminine hygiene products.

AAFA Signs Letter Thanking HHS for Leadership in Addressing E-Cigarette and Vaping CrisisDownload PDF – October 18, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) thanking the Secretary for his leadership in addressing the public health crisis created by e-cigarettes and vaping. We believe that HHS’s announcement that the Administration will remove all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes from the market is a step in the right direction towards ending the vaping epidemic and protecting children from exposure to these deadly toxins. CALC urges the Administration to move forward with urgency. Combating this epidemic immediately is essential to avoiding serious long-term and multi-generational health consequences.

AAFA Signs Letter with Feedback on ICER’s Proposed Updates to 2020 Value Assessment FrameworkDownload PDF – October 18, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, the president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), regarding ICER’s proposed updates to its 2020 Value Assessment Framework. The letter urges ICER to put patients and people with disabilities at the center their assessments. ICER’s use of discriminatory methods in its value assessments gives insurers tools to restrict patient access, a tactic that puts the most vulnerable at an increased risk of worse health outcomes, increased out-of-pocket costs associated with their care, and potential adverse events. ICER’s value assessments do not promote affordability for patients, but instead give payers justification to create barriers to treatment coverage that benefit their own bottom line.

AAFA Signs Letter for Funding of National Asthma Control Program for FY 2020Download PDF –October 17, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to House and Senate Subcommittees requesting that their versions of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 include the House’s position of $34 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program (NACP). CDC recently announced that almost ten states, cities and other entities were approved for funding from the NACP but not funded for the next five-year cycle. The House’s appropriated amount of $34 million would ensure these states receive funding for the next cycle, to help combat the terrible human and economic burden caused by asthma.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter to ICER on 2020 Value Assessment Framework Proposed UpdatesDownload PDF – October 15, 2019
AAFA sent a comment letter to Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, the president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), regarding ICER’s proposed updates to its 2020 Value Assessment Framework. ICER has an opportunity to expand its inclusion of the patient perspective and to lower both economic and quality of life costs for patients and their families. To do so, ICER should incorporate the patient perspective as part of their base-case economic analyses; use appropriate real-world data sets for their analyses to reflect the actual patient community; meaningfully present alternative assumptions and sensitivity analyses; and work to incorporate and grow the data on caregiver impact and quality of life

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Clean Energy Deployment Incentives Through the Tax CodeDownload PDF – October 2, 2019
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance urging the committees to incentivize clean energy deployment through the tax code. Investments in clean energy are critical to combatting the harmful health effects of air pollution and climate change. Clean energy is better for our health and better for the climate. These incentives will lower pollution that threatens our health and exacerbates climate change, while improving health sector climate resilience.

AAFA Sends Support Letter for S.1276/H.1850Download PDF – September 18, 2019
AAFA sent a letter of support of S.1276/H.1850 to members of the Joint Committee on Public Health. S.1276/H.1850 is an act ensuring safe patient access to emergency care. Access to adequate emergency care is especially critical in Massachusetts where the asthma prevalence exceeds the national average. Most asthma-related deaths are preventable with proper management, housing improvements, better air quality, and, importantly, safe patient access to emergency care. AAFA therefore encourages the passage of S.1276/H.1850 to protect the lives of all Massachusetts residents living with asthma.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting 100% Clean Energy Economy by 2050Download PDF – September 17, 2019
AAFA and eight other health and medical organizations sent a letter to representatives supporting the goal of a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 to improve public health, particularly in communities that are disproportionately vulnerable to air pollution and climate change impacts; and to prepare communities for climate impacts and risks. To fully protect public health, the nation must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cleaning up other harmful emissions from polluting sources at the same time. The organizations urge the Representatives to continue prioritizing public health legislation is developed.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Penicillin Skin Testing Product Review Download PDF – August 15, 2019
AAFA and other public health and medical organizations emphasize to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that penicillin skin testing is essential for eliminating the increased morbidity and costs associated with a false label of penicillin allergy. A hindrance to penicillin testing is the lack of a commercial product containing the necessary reagents. The letter strongly urges the FDA to rapidly move forward with the review and potential approval process of a commercial product containing the essential penicillin antigens. This will enable the safest and most accurate identification of patients with true penicillin allergy.

AAFA Releases Statement on ICER Review of New Peanut Allergy TreatmentsDownload PDF – July 11, 2019
AAFA’s statement addresses concerns regarding the Final Evidence Report assessing the clinical effectiveness and value of treatments for peanut allergy released by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) on July 10, 2019. ICER’s report may cause concern for the allergy community that the findings will restrict access to new treatments for peanut allergy. ICER’s evaluation does not impact an approval nor denial from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). AAFA agrees with ICER that we need more long-term data to focus on outcomes important to patients. AAFA advocates for considering quality of life for caregivers when evaluating childhood food allergy burden and outcomes.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter About Alcohol LabelingDownload PDF –June 26, 2019
AAFA sent a comment letter to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on the proposed rule, “Modernization of the Labeling and Advertising Regulations for Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages.” AAFA supports transparent labeling about alcohol ingredients and urges the TTB to move toward mandatory allergen labeling on alcoholic beverages. Wines, distilled spirits and beers can contain undisclosed allergens, either used as processing agents or as ingredients. Research shows consumption of sediment particles containing these fining agents can cause allergic reactions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Joining of the Allergy and Asthma CaucusDownload PDF –June 24, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), signs letter urging Representatives to join the bipartisan Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus. The Caucus is a group of House Members dedicated to increasing awareness of the health and economic concerns associated with asthma and severe allergies, as well as advancing research to improve the lives of adults and children living with these conditions. CALC hopes that Representatives will consider promoting policies to address the needs of children with asthma.

AAFA Letter on ICER’s Review of Treatments for Peanut Allergy Download PDF –June 14, 2019
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) and its California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) met on June 11, 2019 to assess the clinical effectiveness and value of treatments for peanut allergy. The review examined two new technologies to induce immune tolerance — Viaskin® Peanut (DBV Technologies) and AR101 (Aimmune Therapeutics) — as well as non-commercialized oral immunotherapy (OIT). ICER invited AAFA to share recent research results that describe the burden of food allergies on patients and caregivers. AAFA wants to reassure people living with peanut allergy that FDA approval is still possible for these new treatments. AAFA looks forward to continued exploration of innovative ways to treat food allergies.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Concerns About H.R. 2009 Download PDF – June 13, 2019
AAFA signs letter with other patient and consumer organizations expressing concern about H.R. 2009, the Removing Barriers to Allergy Diagnostic Testing Act of 2019. The letter states concern that if H.R. 2009 is enacted, it will lead to the indiscriminate use of allergy blood testing as a screening test and rather than its appropriate use as a confirmatory test. This will result in the misdiagnosis and mislabeling of people with food and/or inhalant allergies, which would be harmful to patients, result in unnecessary care and lifestyle restrictions and increase healthcare spending on unnecessary treatments. It is paramount that all allergy test results whether skin or blood must be confirmatory and interpreted in the context of the patient’s medical history.

AAFA Applauds DOT Warning About Denial of Preboarding to Family With Food Allergies Download PDF – June 7, 2019
AAFA applauds the warning the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued to American Airlines in response to American Airline’s denial of the right to pre-board a family of a child with food allergies. However, AAFA calls on the USDOT and Congress to take even stronger actions to protect the rights of airline passengers with allergies and all disabilities.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support For NIEHS/EPA Children’s Centers Funding Download PDF – May 24, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to the Senate and House asking to signal strong support for joint funding for the NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (“Children’s Centers” or “Centers”). The grants that currently fund these 13 centers are due to expire in July and no announcement has been made to indicate renewed funding. The letter asks for support for the research necessary to understand how today’s environments impact children’s health and ability to learn.

AAFA Sends Letters Supporting Elijah’s LawDownload PDF – May 14, 2019
AAFA sent letters supporting Elijah’s Law to Senator Brian Benjamin (S218-A) and Assemblymember Al Taylor (A6971-A). New York State’s requirements for schools to have anaphylactic policies only apply to K-12 settings. Elijah’s law would apply important allergy requirements to all child day care providers. Providers would have to take concrete steps to manage food allergies for the children in their care, including developing emergency protocols, communication plans for discussing food allergies with children, and plans for preventing exposure. These requirements are evidence-based and will reduce reactions and risk for young children across the state.

AAFA Signs Letters Supporting Reauthorization of PCORIDownload PDF – May 13, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to the Senate and House expressing strong support for the reauthorization of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In creating PCORI, Congress committed to build the evidence base for improved health decisions, seeking to empower patients and drive innovation and value in health care. Reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to ensure that PCORI continues to uphold this commitment and serve the needs of an evolving health care system.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support of the Climate Action Now ActDownload PDF – April 29, 2019
AAFA and other public health and medical organizations urge Representatives to support H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act. The bill would help ensure that the United States adheres to the science-based targets in the Paris Agreement and develops a plan to meet them, both essential steps to protecting public health from the impacts of climate change. The nation urgently needs to implement strong, science-based measures to reduce the emissions that cause climate change. The U.S. must also invest in health mitigation strategies to help communities address the varied health impacts they are already facing.

AAFA Signs 2019 Declaration on Climate Change and HealthDownload PDF – April 29, 2019
AAFA and other public health, patient advocacy, nursing and medical organizations declare climate change a health emergency and call for immediate action to protect the public’s health from the current and future impacts of climate change in the 2019 Declaration on Climate Change and Health. These organizations call on President Trump, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and members of Congress to heed the clear scientific evidence and take steps now to reduce pollution that drives climate change and harms health.

AFA Signs House Letter Applauding H.R. 1922 for OTC MedicationsDownload PDF – April 23, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, signs letter sent to the House of Representatives applauding efforts via H.R. 1922 to restore over-the-counter (“OTC”) medications to full tax-preferred status, eliminating the need to first obtain a prescription. H.R. 1922 will create efficiencies and improve access to care within the U.S. healthcare system. The Coalition thanks the House for the efforts to restore consumers’ ability to pay for OTC medicines with tax preferred account funds without the need for a prescription and for broadening support for this legislation by crafting a bipartisan bill that extends HSA/FSA eligibility to feminine hygiene products.

AAFA Signs Senate Letter Applauding S. 1089 for OTC MedicationsDownload PDF – April 23, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, signs letter sent to the Senate applauding efforts via S. 1089 to restore over-the-counter (“OTC”) medications to full tax-preferred status, eliminating the need to first obtain a prescription. S. 1089 will create efficiencies and improve access to care within the U.S. healthcare system. The Coalition thanks the House for the efforts to restore consumers’ ability to pay for OTC medicines with tax preferred account funds without the need for a prescription.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging Connecticut Atopic Dermatitis LegislationDownload PDF – April 5, 2019
AAFA sends letter on behalf of those suffering from atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, urging the Connecticut state legislature to pass legislation ensuring that any step therapy requirements enacted in Medicaid protect patients from medically harmful policies. Step therapy, without proper consumer and patient protections, have the potential to delay and restrict access to medically necessary and effective drugs and treatments. AAFA requests the implementation of policies to ensure that any measure incorporating step therapy for AD into Medicaid include patient protections.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Prioritization of Food Allergy Research in FY2020 AppropriationsDownload PDF – April 4, 2019
AAFA and 6 other organizations send letter to the Senate urging prioritization of food allergy research across the federal government in fiscal year 2020 (FY20) appropriations. The letter includes requests surrounding the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) and Defense. Continued investment in food allergy research through the Consortium on Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has the potential to make serious strides towards understanding the causes of, and developing treatments for, this widespread and under-researched condition.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC Climate and Health ProgramDownload PDF – March 22, 2019
AAFA and other public and environmental health organizations urge an increase in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Climate and Health Program to $15 million. Americans today experience negative health impacts due to climate change. Communities and states must have the resources necessary to understand specific current and anticipated health impacts of climate change and take steps to protect the public’s health. Further investment in the Climate and Health Program will help communities across the country better prepare and protect their residents.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging EPA to Retain Current Carbon Pollution LimitsDownload PDF – March 18, 2019
AAFA and 10 other organizations urge the U.S. Environmental Production Agency (EPA) to retain the current limits, adopted in 2015, on carbon pollution for New, Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Sources. The nation experiences the damage from climate change today, and forecasts predict more devastation to come. EPA should be taking aggressive steps to address those challenges and greatly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants. A new EPA proposed rule would roll back and weaken existing policy, with no benefits to public health and with the potential to add millions of tons of the longest-lasting greenhouse gas to the problem.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Senate Bill 207 and Appropriation RequestDownload PDF – March 11, 2019
AAFA and 26 other organizations support Senate Bill 207 and its associated $14.8 million budget appropriation request, which would include asthma preventive services as a covered benefit under the Medi-Cal program. SB 207 and the budget appropriation request will increase access for Medi-Cal beneficiaries to asthma education and home environmental asthma trigger assessments. Asthma is a significant public health problem and driver of health care costs. Increasing access to asthma education and home environmental asthma trigger assessments will help fulfill California’s Quadruple Aim of strengthening the quality of care, improving health outcomes, reducing health care costs and advancing health equity.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Funding for CDC’s NACP for FY 2020Download PDF – March 11, 2019
AAFA and 14 other organizations urge support from Senators/Representatives for an increase in funding for Fiscal Year 2020 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program (NACP). Specifically, support for a $5 million increase, bringing funding to $34.0 million for FY 2020, which would increase the number of states the program can fund to combat the human and economic burden caused by asthma. Asthma is a complex, multifactorial disease that requires a comprehensive approach and the NACP is making a difference in improving disease outcomes.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC’s Program in FY 2020Download PDF – March 4, 2019
AAFA signs letter urging Congress to provide at least $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Congress should prioritize funding for all activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. The letter urges Congress’ continued support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund which currently makes up more than 10 percent of CDC’s budget and provides funding for critical public health and prevention activities.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Reintroduction of Climate Legislation Download PDF – March 4, 2019
AAFA and other public health and medical organization thank Senator Edward J. Markey and Representative Matt Cartwright for their ongoing leadership to address the health impacts of climate change through your reintroduction of the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act. Their legislation would help the public health and medical communities address the challenges of climate change and by prioritizing the public health response to climate change, it would bolster the capacity of our public health system and help to avoid many preventable illnesses and deaths.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC NCEH in FY 2020Download PDF – February 26, 2019
AAFA and other public and environmental health organizations express support for increased funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations urge Congress to provide at least $230 million to NCEH to ensure all its programs are adequately funded. Adequate investments today and into the future in core environmental health activities can be a critical down payment on health, productivity and happiness of countless Americans.

AAFA Applauds Senators Grassley and Wyden for Drug Pricing-HearingsDownload PDF – January 31, 2019
An estimated 16.2 million Americans are at risk for anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction. These people need access to affordable epinephrine auto-injectors. AAFA applauds Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden for holding hearings on drug pricing in America. This series of hearings demonstrates the senators’ commitment to exploring the problem of overpriced medications in America. AAFA particularly thanks Senator Grassley for highlighting the cost of epinephrine auto-injectors in his statement. 

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CVS to Keep Primatene Mist HFA Behind the Counter  Download PDF– January 25, 2019
AAFA and 11 other patient and medical organizations urge Troyen Brennan, Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health, to consider keeping Primatene Mist HFA “behind the counter” to help reduce inappropriate use of this medication and to protect patients from adverse events. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to require that OTC drugs be held behind the counter, pharmacies do have discretion to hold these products behind the counter in the interests of patient health and safety. The organizations urge placing inhaled epinephrine behind the counter to help best serve the needs of customers who have asthma.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting ‘The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort’  Download PDF– January 18, 2019
AAFA and 8 other leading lung health and medical organizations write in support of a new epidemiologic cohort study, entitled “The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort” (U01 HL146408‐01), submitted by a team of accomplished researchers in partnership with the American Lung Association’s Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC). These organizations believe that this study, which seeks to define and promote lung health, will develop targets to intercept and prevent chronic lung disease, and will also engage the broader scientific community in a population‐based effort to understand all forms of respiratory disease.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Proposed Healthy People 2030 Objectives  Download PDF– January 17, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), is concerned that the proposed objectives in Healthy People 2030 related to asthma are insufficient to capture the magnitude of the public health burden of asthma, or the impact of approaches to address it. The proposed objectives include seven objectives related to asthma, fifteen fewer than were included in Healthy People 2020. CALC supports the inclusion of the objectives proposed but urges HHS to restore a number of others to the final list of Healthy People 2030 objectives.

AAFA Letter to Weatherford, Texas, Independent School District on Treatment of Severe Allergic Reactions Download PDF– January 16, 2019
AAFA sent letters to the superintendent, president and nurse coordinator of the Weatherford Independent School District to express concerns regarding their recent decision that personnel will administer Benadryl, rather than epinephrine, to some students displaying symptoms of anaphylaxis. AAFA is deeply concerned that this protocol – which is directly contradicted by medical evidence – could unnecessarily place many children in the Weatherford Independent School District in potentially deadly situations. AAFA urges the Weatherford Independent School District to reverse the new policy and implement appropriate, epinephrine-based protocols for addressing anaphylaxis.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Regulations to Label for Sesame Download PDF– December 21, 2018
AAFA, along with other patient advocacy groups representing people with food allergies, sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to express strong support of requiring allergen labeling and appropriate manufacturing practices for sesame. Sesame has become “the ninth allergen” and reactions to it can be severe. 

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing Proposed Changes of the NSPS Download PDF– December 17, 2018
AAFA and several other health and medical organizations sign letter expressing opposition to the changes proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources within the Oil and Natural Gas Sector, also referred to as the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS, or “the Rule”). The proposed rule changes will inflict significant harm on public health. Methane leaks accelerate climate change and thus increase health threats worldwide. Leaks of VOCs endanger the health of people living near oil and gas infrastructure. This would have the effect of increasing the health threats facing millions of Americans, as well as people around the world.

AAFA Sign On Letter on Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter  Download PDF– December 11, 2018
AAFA joined other patient advocacy groups to send a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (ISA). These organizations consider the review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) to be a top priority concern for the protection of public health, a position reinforced by the escalating evidence of its widespread harm.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter to Department of Homeland Security's Definition of “Public Charge” Download PDF– December 10, 2018
AAFA joined other members of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition on a letter to the Department of Homeland Security concerning their expansion of the definition of “public charge.” The expanded definition would consider the receipt or potential receipt of a broad range of public benefits as a negative factor against people seeking U.S. residency or citizenship. As leading advocates and experts in childhood asthma, public health, environmental health, poverty, housing, health care, and health care economics, CALC members are deeply concerned about the potential effects of this rule on children with asthma.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing the Medicare Part B International Pricing Index Model  Download PDF– December 10, 2018
AAFA joined the Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians Coalition express concern to Congress about a proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement an unprecedented, mandatory experiment affecting Medicare beneficiaries who take Part B-covered drugs. The proposed CMS International Pricing Index model would open the door for foreign-based price controls, preventing treatment based on evidence and best practices.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing EPA Proposal to Weaken Carbon Pollution Limits on New Power Plants   Download PDF – December 6, 2108
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to dramatically weaken the Carbon Pollution Standards for New, Modified and Reconstructed Power Plants, which are protections against carbon pollution that have been in effect since 2015. In response, 15 health and medical groups sent a letter stating concern about the effects this can have on every American, especially American, but certain groups are more at risk – including children, older adults, pregnant women, low-income communities and communities of color.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Asking Congress to Fully Fund the EPA in 2019   Download PDF – November 29, 2108
AAFA joined a group of public health and medical organizations to urge Congress to fully fund the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and oppose all policy riders – including those that would block, weaken or delay critical clean air and public health protections for the Fiscal Year 2019.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter to FDA Asking for Sesame to Be Included as Major Allergen  Download PDF – November 27, 2108
The Congressional Asthma and Allergy Caucus sent this letter prepared by AAFA to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb urging the addition of sesame to the list of major food allergens.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Asking EPA to Reconsider Limits on Air Toxics  Download PDF – November 14, 2108
AAFA joined other organizations to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon current plans to reconsider limits on mercury and other air toxics from power plants. The existing Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are an EPA success story. The standards have achieved a 90% reduction in mercury emissions from power plants thanks to the controls that these facilities have installed in response to the rule. Rolling back these standards can be harmful to the health of millions of Americans.

AAFA Statement on FDA Approval of Primatene Mist for Mild Asthma Download PDF – November 9, 2108
The FDA recently announced approval for the readmittance of Primatene Mist – an over-the-counter (OTC) epinephrine inhaler. In this letter, AAFA cautions patients to not stop their current asthma treatment nor start taking this OTC option without talking to their health care provider first.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing on the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule Download PDF – October 31, 2018
Climate change poses grave threats to public health. To protect our communities and the public, the United States must significantly reduce carbon pollution from the largest stationary source, which is the nation’s fleet of existing power plants. As representatives of the medical and public health community, 12 organizations sent a letter on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) the replacement of the Clean Power Plan with the proposed Emission Guidelines for Existing Electric Utility Generating Units, commonly referred to as the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule; the proposed revisions to emission guideline implementing regulations; and the proposed revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) Program.

AAFA Letter Applauding FDA Steps Toward Declaring Sesame as Major Allergen  Download PDF– October 30, 2018
Based on reports of adverse reactions from our community of over 55,000 food allergy patients, AAFA has advocated for the inclusion of sesame as a major allergen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now asking the public for more information about the prevalence of sesame allergy and sesame presence in food. AAFA applauds the FDA’s commitment to explore the classification of sesame as a major allergen.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule Download PDF– October 26, 2018
AAFA and more than 90 health and medical organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opposing the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021–2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks. This rule would rollback existing vehicle emission and efficiency standards and the Clean Air Act that protects citizens from harmful pollution.

AAFA Sends Letter to ICER About Draft Report on Biologic Therapies Download PDF– October 22, 2018
AAFA sends comment letter to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (“ICER”) about their Draft Report “Biologic Therapies for Treatment of Asthma Associated with Type 2 Inflammation” (September 24, 2018).  AAFA appreciates that ICER is calling attention to the biologic therapy access and cost issues that impact the quality of life and sometimes longevity of life of Americans with asthma. However, AAFA believes that ICER understated or overlooked some important points in its analysis. ICER must make sure its analyses more accurately reflect comorbidities, incremental adverse events from chronic steroid use, and the intrinsic biologic variability of the inputs associated with asthma.  Greater transparency and using real-world data in ICER’s modeling can make ICER’s work more helpful to patients who most need these therapies. Too little is known about the multi-year natural history of asthma, the real-world use of treatments (including adherence), and the cost and efficacy of the treatments.

AAFA Signs Letter Concerning Restoring Access to Medications and Modernizing Health Savings Account Act  Download PDF– October 22, 2018
AAFA has signed onto a letter from the Health Choices Coalition asking the Senate to pass H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018. This would allow Americans to purchase over-the-counter medicines without a prescription using flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and other tax-preferred accounts.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing Policy Allowing Medicare Advantage Plans to Use Step Therapy for Drug Coverage Download PDF– September 26, 2018
Along with several patient organizations, AAFA has signed a letter to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services opposing a proposed policy change that would allow Medicare Advantage plans to use step therapy for drug coverage. If this policy is passed, patients may have to take a drug that is not designed to treat their specific health circumstances, negatively impacting care.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Concern Over CMS Policy on Step Therapy for Part B Drugs  Download PDF– September 12, 2018
AAFA and several other patient organizations signed a letter to the leaders of Congress about concerns over a memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that changes long-standing policy and allows Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to implement step therapy to manage Part B drugs in circumstances where applicable. Original Medicare policies do not require step therapy. CMS’ sudden and disruptive decision to allow the inappropriate use of step therapy policies is inconsistent with the requirement that MA plans provide coverage consistent with Original Medicare and threatens to restrict access and decrease therapy choices for patients. This could put patients’ health at risk and potentially creates long-term health care issues in the process.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CVS Health to Stop Plans to Use ICER assessments for Drug Coverage  Download PDF  September 12, 2018
AAFA and several other health and patient advocacy organizations have contacted CVS Health to urge them to abandon their recently-announced decision to consider denying coverage of drugs that fail to meet a cost-effectiveness threshold. The letter expresses deep concern that CVS Caremark will offer clients the option of formularies that rely on assessments from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) to deny coverage of drugs if they do not meet a subjective “quality-adjusted-life-year” (QALY)- based threshold. CVS’ reliance on a cost-effectiveness threshold is profoundly misguided and would prohibit affordable medications to populations who need it.

AAFA Applauds Walgreens and Kaléo Partnership, Increasing Patient Access to Life-Saving Epinephrine   Download PDF  (September 10, 2018)

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding Increase for CDC NCEH in FY 2019  Download PDF– September 6, 2018
AAFA and 36 other public and environmental health organizations sign letter to support increased funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2019 Labor, HHS, Education appropriations bill. The letter urges that the proposed cuts in the House bill are restored and to provide at least $217 million to NCEH to ensure all of its programs are adequately funded. This funding will help ensure that NCEH can work to strengthen and expand its programs. Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury and even death.

AAFA Sends Letter Expressing Concerns About Epinephrine Shortage Download PDF– August 24, 2018
AAFA’s President and Chief Executive Office, Kenneth Mendez, on behalf of the more than 15 million Americans living with life-threatening food allergies, expresses concerns to Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Alex M. Azar II, about the recent shortages of epinephrine auto-injectors (EAI). This letter proposes solutions that can address the current “shortage” and make a difference for people with life-threatening allergies. Patient access to this life-saving drug must be restored, especially when there are options available. Now is the time for private insurance, pharmacy benefit companies, the federal government and pharmaceutical companies to work together and fast-track coverage for a readily available product. Such cooperation would save lives, solve a drug shortage issue and provide affordable treatment access to patients.

AAFA Signs Letter to Senate Opposing the ‘Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act’ Download PDF– August 23, 2018
AAFA and nine other health and medical organizations urge the Senate to oppose S. 1857, the “Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act.” The bill delays lifesaving and long-overdue protections from air pollution from wood burning and would result in further harm to Americans’ health from toxic pollutants. These pollutants cause a range of adverse health effects including asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer and premature deaths. The legislation would unnecessarily delay for three additional years the full implementation of standards for new wood-burning boilers, furnaces, and stoves to reduce emissions. The result would be years of premature deaths and health problems from wood smoke pollution that could have been prevented.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing EPA’s Harmful Clean Power Plan ‘Replacement’ Proposal – August 22, 2018
AAFA and 9 other health and medical organizations oppose the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) release of the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to replace the Clean Power Plan. As noted in the letter, the EPA's proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan is not just inadequate, it is dangerous. The urgency of protecting public health from the impacts of climate change increases with each passing day—and so does the necessity of implementing and enforcing strong limits on carbon pollution from power plants as outlined in the Clean Power Plan. Our organizations urge EPA to reject the proposed rule and implement the Clean Power Plan. In addition to the immediate damage that this proposal would cause to human health, failing to address the pollution causing climate change will have lasting health consequences.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing the EPA’s Proposed Rule “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” Download PDF– August 16, 2018
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition, opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” The rule provides that pivotal studies would need to rely on data that are available “in a manner sufficient for independent validation.” The Coalition is deeply concerned that in reality this provision would limit the use of research that could improve the lives of children with asthma, favoring deregulation over reasonable policymaking to protect and promote health. The letter urges EPA against moving forward with this proposed rule, and recommend that EPA solicit Science Advisory Board (SAB) review of any action regarding the standards around EPA research, to ensure that the EPA continues to promote the consideration of high-quality research that protects public health.

AAFA Signs Letter Strongly Opposing the Trump Administration’s Plan to Revoke Cleaner Cars Standards  Download PDF– August 2, 2018
AAFA and nine other health and medical organizations oppose a proposal from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to weaken the 2021-2026 vehicle emissions and mileage requirements and withdraw the waiver that permits California to set more protective cleaner cars standards. This proposal from EPA and NHTSA would dismantle fair, achievable pollution limits with a track record of success, limits that will help protect Americans from the life-threatening health impacts of climate change. It would also preempt the ability of states to protect the health of their residents by curbing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. If these vehicle standards are weakened, the nation loses a crucial tool to fight climate change. Rolling back these standards is another step backward from the essential fight to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. From degraded air quality due to higher temperatures to increased risk from wildfires, climate change poses serious threats to all Americans, especially to the most vulnerable, including children, older adults and those living with chronic diseases.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding the HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) Costs  Download PDF– July 16, 2018
AAFA and 52 other leading patient advocacy groups submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the ‘HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) Costs’. The letter reflects that these organizations are ready to work with the HHS and other policymakers to implement policies, which ensure all patients in need have access to the prescription therapies their healthcare providers prescribe for them while at the same time incentivizing the development of innovative new medicines that can help patients get well, stay healthy, keep their condition from worsening and/or have a higher quality-of-life. These organizations wish to underscore that patient assistance programs provide a much-needed safety net for so many patients—in both commercial and publicly funded health plans—who simply cannot afford the ever-growing costs of their medications. Until all patients have affordable, unencumbered access to the therapies they need, patient assistance programs must continue their critically important work of giving much-needed financial support to patients who require costly medications to maintain or regain their health, well-being and quality-of-life.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter in Response to the President’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs Download PDF– July 16, 2018
AAFA and 101 other patient groups, as a part of the I Am Essential coalition, submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to the ‘President's Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs’. The comment letter states the importance of access to medications to maintain healthy and full lives, prevent and cure diseases, and keep patients alive, particularly for those with chronic and serious health conditions. However, patients are bearing a greater share of healthcare costs at the pharmacy as a result of changes in plan benefit design by insurance companies that include high deductibles, high out-of-pocket maximums, along with rising copays and co-insurance. This letter suggests a number of proposals, including keeping prescription drugs outside the plan deductible or establishing a separate low drug deductible.

AAFA Submits Comment Letter Regarding ‘Traveling by Air with Service Animals’  Download PDF– June 20, 2018
AAFA submitted a comment letter to the Docket Management Facility of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the “Traveling by Air with Service Animals” Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), docket number DOT-OST-2018-0068. AAFA recognizes the importance of accommodating those with disabilities who benefit from bringing a comfort animal on board a flight. However, a balanced policy must be achieved to also protect airline passengers who are at risk of severe allergic reactions to pet dander. An increase in the number of comfort animals allowed to board a flight unfortunately directly increases the risk to the health of those with animal allergies. The health and rights of passengers with asthma and allergies should not be subjugated to those with other disabilities who require comfort animals. AAFA applauds recent airline efforts to crackdown on growing abuse of the rules governing “comfort animal” on planes, and we welcome DOT’s initiative through this ANPRM to seek a balanced policy that accommodates all passengers with disabilities.

AAFA Submits Comment Letter to ICER Regarding Biologic Treatments for Asthma Download PDF– June 5, 2018
AAFA submitted a comment letter to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) regarding its decision to ask patients with asthma about their experience with the disease to inform its newest report. As ICER notes in its Patient Guide to Open Input, assessing patient experience is imperative to creating a report that supports the policies and guidelines that are meaningful to patients with asthma. While AAFA supports biologics as a promising class of drugs to improve asthma outcomes, we urge ICER to consider cost structure and issues of affordability. AAFA is eager to continue to provide input to ICER to ensure that the needs and preferences of patients with asthma are appropriately taken into consideration within any larger push for policy development and/or change.

AAFA and Other Health Groups Urge the Senate to Oppose S. 263, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 Download PDF–April 23, 2018
AAFA and other health and medical organizations urge Senators to oppose S. 263, the “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017”, as it delays lifesaving standards to reduce ozone pollution, or smog. It permanently weakens the Clean Air Act and future air pollution health standards for all criteria pollutants. The bill weakens implementation and enforcement of all lifesaving air pollution health standards, including those for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. Clean air is fundamental for good health, and the Clean Air Act promises all Americans air that is safe to breathe. This bill is an attempt to undermine our nation’s proven clean air health protections.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Opposing Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance Plan Proposed Rule Download PDF– April 23, 2018
AAFA and 96 other patient groups submitted comments on the short-term, limited-duration insurance proposed rule (short-term plans) to the Department of Health and Human Services. These comments express serious concern regarding the reversal of previously established guardrails for enrollment in short-term plans and the impact it will have on the health of individuals, in particular those living with chronic and serious conditions. This rule, if finalized, will have a crippling effect on individuals’ healthcare and long-lasting implications on the stability of the health insurance market. Redefining short-term plans, as proposed, would take away comprehensive health benefits and patient protections, increase healthcare costs on individuals and the healthcare system, and put greater strain on the individual health insurance market.

AAFA Supports Letter Requesting Funding for CDC’s National Asthma Control Program Download PDF– April 13, 2018
AAFA supports a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to Chairman Roy Blunt and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. This letter was signed by 18 Senators and requests funding for a $30 million appropriation in fiscal year 2019 for the National Asthma Control Program (NACP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NACP tracks asthma prevalence, promotes asthma control and prevention, and builds capacity in state and community health program. This program trains educators and health professionals to diagnose, treat and manage asthma. These funds will help to reduce the burden of asthma and continue to keep our communities and children healthy.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC Programs in FY 2019 Download PDF– April 9, 2018
AAFA and 152 other members of the CDC Coalition and other supporting state and national organizations urge Congress to provide $8.445 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s programs in the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. We believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health.

AAFA Signs Letter for Funding Increase for CDC’s National Asthma Control Program for FY 2019 Download PDF– March 8, 2018
AAFA and 14 other organizations urge support from Senators/Representatives for an increase in funding for Fiscal Year 2019 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program (NACP). Specifically, support for a $1 million increase, bringing funding to $30.0 million for FY 2019, which would ensure the program can continue to assist states with combatting the human and economic burden caused by asthma. Asthma remains a serious and costly health issue in our nation and the NACP is making a difference in improving disease outcomes.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Opposing the Association Health Plans Proposed Rule Download PDF– March 6, 2018
AAFA and 117 other patient and community organizations submitted comments on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule issued on January 5, 2018 that expands the scope and applicability of Association Health Plans (AHPs). The letter comments that the proposed changes would negatively impact access to quality, affordable care for consumers, disrupt the individual and small business marketplace, and further strain the limited resources of state regulators. AAFA and the other organizations are committed to supporting access and coverage for the healthcare needs of individuals living with chronic and serious conditions, and are concerned that the proposed rule, if finalized, would fail to provide the critical health coverage, quality health care and benefits necessary to meet the needs of patients.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act Download PDF– March 5, 2018
AAFA and other health and medical organize sign on to letter opposing H.R. 453, or the “Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act.” The bill, which delays lifesaving and long-overdue protections from air pollution from wood burning and would result in further harm to Americans’ health from toxic pollutants, has been incorporated into Section 3 of H.R. 1917, the “BRICK Act.” Wood smoke from residential wood heaters is a significant source of air pollution that harms human health, especially for people with asthma and other lung diseases. The legislation would unnecessarily delay for three additional years the full implementation of standards for new wood-burning boilers, furnaces, and stoves to reduce emissions.

AAFA Signs Letter Surrounding Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Language  Download PDF– February 27, 2018
AAFA and other health organizations sign on to letter urging House and Senate to consider specific language for the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These organizations encourage refraining from including any language that would have a detrimental impact on research at the Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and other medical research conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The strong level of bipartisan Congressional support for the defense health research programs is a beacon of hope to the military families, retirees, veterans and civilians who must cope with these diseases and disorders.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for State Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Download PDF– February 26, 2018
AAFA and other health organizations sign on to comment letter on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for State Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Existing Electric Utility Generating Units. This letter to Scott Pruitt urges the Environmental Protection Agency to return to the implementation of the Clean Power Plan to best reduce carbon dioxide and its threats to the health of Americans, and to not pursue any further actions to develop a weaker, flawed and potentially harmful alternative. The risk of climate change demands EPA act immediately to curb release of greenhouse gases to protect the health of Americans.

AAFA Releases Statement on Bronchial Thermoplasty  Download PDF– February 20, 2018
AAFA releases statement of support of bronchial thermoplasty (BT), which is a drug free treatment option for some people whose asthma symptoms are not improved by other medication. BT can help people to better control their severe asthma and result in a decrease in the number and severity of asthma attacks. AAFA urges health plans and insurance carriers cover the costs of this procedure for those whose severe asthma is not well managed by less invasive therapies and whose physicians deem it appropriate.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing EPA’s Proposed Repeal of Emission Requirements for Gliders Download PDF– January 5, 2018
AAFA and 11 other health and medical organizations urge EPA’s Administrator Scott Pruitt to retain and implement the current Phase 2 GHG Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and HeavyDuty Vehicles, and not to repeal the emissions requirements for glider vehicles, glider engines and glider kits. These standards will not only help to mitigate climate change and its associated health risks, but will also significantly reduce emissions of toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants, benefiting public health in communities across the country.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Urging An Immediate Five Year Extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)  Download PDF– December 21, 2017
AAFA and over 1,000 other organizations urge leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives to immediately enact a five-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP funding expired on September 30, 2017 and as federal funding to the states is running out, families across the country are receiving disenrollment notices and face an uncertain future about their children’s health care. CHIP has been an essential source of children’s coverage, ensuring access to high-quality, affordable, pediatric-appropriate health care for children in working families whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to purchase private health insurance on their own. CHIP has played a critical role in reducing the number of uninsured children by more than 68 percent, from nearly 15 percent in 1997 to less than five percent in 2015, while improving health outcomes and access to care for children and pregnant women. 

AAFA Signs On to Letter Urging House and Senate to Provide Funding For CDC Programs for FY2018  Download PDF– December 4, 2017
AAFA and other organizations urge the House and Senate to provide at least $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s programs as a final FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill or other final FY 2018 funding legislation is being developed. These organizations urge the rejection of inclusion of any controversial policy riders that would threaten public health, and believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC. CDC programs are essential to protect the health of the American people, reducing health care costs and improving health.

Defense Health Research Protected in Final FY18 National Defense Authorization Act Download PDF– November 9, 2017
Thanks to the nationwide grassroots advocacy led by the Defense Health Research Consortium (DHRC) and its allied organizations, including AAFA, the final House-Senate conference report to the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act will not include four provisions restricting medical research at the Department of Defense (DoD).

AAFA Signs On to Letter In Response to EPA Announcement to Revoke the Clean Power Plan  Download PDF– October 10, 2017
AAFA and 18 other health organizations oppose the EPA announcement to revoke the Clean Power Plan, stating that this is inconsistent with EPA's core mission of protecting public health and the environment. Per the letter, revoking this lifesaving plan denies Americans these health protections and removes crucial tools to reduce pollution that causes climate change.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Urging Senators to Support the Durbin-Blunt Amendment Download PDF– July 27, 2017
AAFA and other organizations urge Senators John McCain and Jack Reed to support the bipartisan Durbin-Blunt amendment to nullify several provisions related to medical research included in S. 1519, the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. As reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee, S. 1519 would have the effect of severely restricting, and in some cases terminating, critical medical research programs funded by the Department of Defense (DoD).

AAFA Re-Signs On to Letter Opposing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 And Its New Amendment  Download PDF–July 17, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress to oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants. A new amendment added to the letter that was adopted in committee would eliminate key enforcement provisions under the Clean Air Act.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 Download PDF – June 27, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants.

AAFA and Other Organizations Issue a Declaration on Climate Change and Health Download PDF – June 19, 2017
AAFA and other public health, patient advocacy, nursing and medical organizations reiterate their longstanding commitment to addressing climate change as a public health issue. The Declaration on Climate Change and Health articulates their consensus on the health impacts of climate change and the need for action to protect the public’s health.

AAFA Supports the Formation of an FDA Office of Patient Affairs  Download PDF – June 12, 2017
AAFA joins other health organization in support of the proposed formation of an FDA Office of Patient Affairs to coordinate opportunities for patient involvement in medical product development and regulation at FDA, as well as better assist patients and patient organizations desiring to get more involved. AAFA joins others in also suggesting additional ways to improve this proposal, particularly by harnessing patient engagement capabilities already present in the Office of the Commissioner, and by ensuring such an office does not act as a barrier to existing relationships.

AAFA Supports Funding of Defense Health Research Programs  Download PDF – June 8, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations request the continued support of the Senate and House for the critical and highly successful defense health research programs funded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD), as they begin work on the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations bill.

AAFA and Other Health Groups Oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 in Letter to Senate Download PDF – May 23, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Senators to oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children, and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants.

AAFA Urges Congress to Oppose the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act and the Honest and Open EPA Science Treatment Act Download PDF – March 27, 2017
AAFA joins other health organizations to oppose these two bills which would restrict the input of scientific experts in the review of complex issues and add industry influence into the EPA’s decision-making process. The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act would limit the voice of scientists, and the HONEST Act would limit the kinds of scientific data EPA can use as it develops policy.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 Download PDF – March 22, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants.

AAFA Signs On to Letter to Department of Health and Human Services Discussing Market Stabilization Download PDF – March 8, 2017
AAFA and other organizations write to Secretary Tom Price of the Department of Health and Human Services to express thoughts and concerns over the recent proposed rule on market stabilization and the potential impact on patients and providers.

AAFA Joins Other Organizations to Urge Congress to Oppose Harmful Regulation Bills Download PDF – February 28, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress to Oppose H.R.998, H.R.1004, and H.R. 1009. Each of these bills would make effectively make it harder to protect the public health of Americans.

AAFA Joins CSPI in Support of Adding Sesame to Labeling on Food Packages Download PDF – February 27, 2017
AAFA joins the Center for Science in the Public Interest to urge the Food and Drug Administration to further consider adding sesame to the list of ingredients that must be disclosed on food labels.

Organizations Urge President Trump to be Mindful of Role of Federal Public Health and Biomedical Research Workforce Download PDF – February 27, 2017
AAFA and other organizations urge President Trump to continue to recognize the essential role of the federal workforce and the many public health and biomedical research jobs are critical to protecting public safety and national security.

AAFA Supports Call for Children’s Initiative on School Infrastructure and Environmental Health Download PDF – February 22, 2017
AAFA joined other organizations to support a federal children’s initiative which will recognize childrens unique vulnerability to environmental health hazards, reduce environmental risks, generate benefits for children, save taxpayer money and provide local jobs to many communities around the country.

AAFA Joins Other Patient Groups Urging Secretary Price to Maintain Patient Protections Download PDF – February 14, 2017
AAFA signed a letter urging new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to maintain and enforce the ACA’s patient protections as he reviews the law and its implementing regulations.

AAFA Joins Other Organizations to Urge Congress to Approve the 2017 Defense Appropriations Act Download PDF – February 8, 2017
AAFA signed onto to letter urging Congress to complete the final negotiations on the 2017 Defense Appropriations Act and to move the bill through the House and Senate toward enactment. Any further delay and failure to enact the final bill will have major negative health implications for millions of Americans, especially veterans.

AAFA Signs On to Letter to the Senate Encouraging Congress to Retain Current Patient Protections Download PDF – February 6, 2017
AAFA Signs On to Letter to the House of Representatives to Encourage Congress to Retain Current Patient Protections Download PDF – February 6, 2017
AAFA joins other health organizations to encourage the Senate and House of Representatives to retain protections for patients as they move forward with efforts to repeal, modify or replace the Affordable Care Act. The patient protections that have been in place since 2014 include prohibiting pre-existing condition exclusions, restricting premium ratings, banning annual and lifetime benefit limits, and prohibiting coverage rescissions.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing Blocks to Air Pollution Limits Download PDF – February 1, 2017
AAFA joined other medical and public health organizations urging Congress to oppose any Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval that would block air pollution limits that address the leakage of methane.

AAFA Supports Light Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards Download PDF – January 10, 2017
AAFA supports the proposed determination on the appropriates of light duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards under the midterm evaluation. These standards remain appropriate under the Clean Air Act and support strengthening these standards going forward to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

AAFA Joins Other Organizations to Provide View on the Importance of the Medicaid Program Download PDF – January 6, 2017
AAFA and other healthcare organizations urge Congress to understand the importance of the Medicaid program and how it works to improve the health of underserved communities.

AAFA Joins Health Organizations to Oppose the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, H.R.5. Download PDF – December 29, 2016
AAFA joined other public health and medical organizations urging Congress to oppose H.R.5, which would undermine the federal government's ability to set lifesaving public health protections by requiring federal standards to be based on industry cost estimates and not what best protects the public.

AAFA Signs on to Letter Opposing Harmful Policy Riders Download PDF – December 2, 2016
AAFA signs on to letter urging Congress to oppose all harmful policy riders that would block, weaken or delay critical clean air and public health protections.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Congress to Approve Funding for Defense Health Research Programs Download PDF – November 18, 2016
AAFA and 65 other health organizations signed a letter urging Congress to complete the 2017 Defense Appropriations Act which includes strong funding for medical research. Millions of American veterans, military retirees, military families, and civilians benefit from the ongoing research funded by the Defense Health Research Programs at the Department of Defense.

AAFA Comments on New Model for School Health Services in DC Download PDF – October 25, 2016
AAFA provided comments expressing concern over the new model for school health services that will be implemented in D.C. public schools and public charter schools starting in January 2017.

FDA Guidance on Insanitary Condition at Compounding Facilities Download PDF – October 24, 2016
AAFA submitted comments in opposition of the draft guidance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) titled, Insanitary Conditions at Compounding Facilities: Guidance for Industry. AAFA is concerned that the proposed guidance would severely limit patients’ access to immunotherapy and would create barriers to allergy treatment.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Light Duty Vehicles  Download PDF – October 3, 2016
AAFA signed on to a comment letter discussing the impact of federal standards for greenhouse gas emissions for light duty vehicles on human health and climate change.

The Health Harms of Biomass Download PDF – September 14, 2016
AAFA signed a letter urging Congress to oppose policies which would increase the use of biomass in the production of electricity.

AAFA Joins PIPC in Response to ICER Download PDF – September 14, 2016
AAFA signed a letter from the Partnership to Improved Patient Care in response to the call for input from ICER.

AAFA Encourages ICER to Incorporate the Patient Perspective Download PDF – September 13, 2016
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is an independent non-profit organization that evaluates medical evidence and helps stakeholders interpret and apply evidence to improve patient outcomes and control costs. AAFA submitted comments emphasizing the need to include patients' perspectives in response to an ICER call for comments on how to improve their value framework development process.?

AAFA Letter About Rising Costs of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Download PDF – August 24, 2016
AAFA’s CEO addresses issues of access and affordability of life-saving epinephrine auto-injectors.

Proposed Revisions to the Regional Haze Rule Download PDF – August 10, 2016
AAFA and other organizations signed a letter to the EPA in support of proposed revisions that will strengthen the Regional Haze Rule. We also urged the EPA to reconsider updates that would weaken reporting requirements and delay emission reductions.

Kentucky Medicaid Allergy Testing Coverage Download PDF – July 21, 2016
AAFA commented on a proposed change in Kentucky that would eliminate Medicaid coverage for allergy testing.

Nitrogen Oxide Emissions Download PDF – July 19, 2016
AAFA signed a letter urging the EPA to propose a new standard to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides from trucks.

Near-Road Monitoring Download PDF – June 30, 2016
AAFA and other health organizations signed a letter to the EPA expressing concern about potential plans to reduce the near-road monitoring program, which monitors air pollution near roadways.

Medicare Part B Payments Download PDF – June 28, 2016
AAFA and other patient organizations signed a letter to Congress listing patient concerns about proposed changes to Medicare Part B payments.

School-Based Medicaid Programs Download PDF – June 27, 2016
We signed a letter to CMS urging improvements to school-based Medicaid programs and better school health initiatives.

Allergy Immunotherapy and Compounding Download PDF – June 6, 2016
AAFA’s President and CEO spoke at an FDA meeting about regulations that might impact patient access to allergy shot treatments.

National Defense Authorization Act Download PDF – June 1, 2016
AAFA signed a letter in opposition to certain sections of the National Defense Authorization Act, which would prohibit funding for most medical research at the Department of Defense (DoD). This limit on medical research could harm the health and well-being of military families.

Letter To NBC: Jokes About Food Allergies Can Put People in Danger Download PDF – May 12, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to NBC expressing concern over a Today Show segment that belittled the severity of food allergies.

Air Travel and Disabilities Download PDF – May 10, 2016
AAFA commented to the Department of Transportation explaining why asthma and allergies should be taken into consideration as disabilities during airline travel.

Medicare Part B Payment Program Download PDF – May 9, 2016
AAFA submitted separate comments to CMS about the proposal to change Medicare Part B payment in a way that could negatively impact patients with chronic or complex conditions.

Medicare Part B Payment ProgramDownload PDF  – May 9, 2016
We signed a letter in opposition to a CMS proposal that would change Medicare Part B payment in a way that could negatively impact patients with chronic or complex condition

Allergy Protocols in Federal Facilities Download PDF –  April 22, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to Federal Occupational Health (FOH) in support of epinephrine stocking and improved allergy policies in federal facilities.

Children’s Health Programs Download PDF –  April 20, 2016
We signed a letter from the Coalition for Healthier Schools in support of funding for children’s health programs at the U.S. EPA.

National Center for Environmental Health Funding Download PDF –  April 20, 2016
We signed a letter in support of funding for the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

National Asthma Control Program Download PDF –  April 4, 2016
AAFA signed a letter in support of funding for the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program.

Defense of Health Research (Senate) Download PDF –  April 4, 2016
Defense of Health Research (House) Download PDF –  April 4, 2016
AAFA signed a letter to Congress in support of funding for health research programs.

Climate Change and Health  Download PDF – April 4, 2016
In recognition of National Public Health Week, AAFA and other health organizations signed an official Declaration on Climate Change and Health.

Medicare Advantage Cuts Download PDF – March 31, 2016
AAFA and other health organization sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to express concern about cuts to Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Payments  Download PDF –  March 25, 2016
We joined with other health and medical organizations to sign a letter regarding Medicare Part D recommendations.

Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research Funding (House)  Download PDF – March 14, 2016
We signed a letter to Congress in support of funding for the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ).

School-Based Asthma Management Programs Act Download PDF – March 7, 2016
AAFA sent a letter of support to the sponsors of the School-Based Asthma Management Programs Act (HR 4662).

AAFA Comments on Allergen Immunotherapy at American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting  Download PDF – March 7, 2016
AAFA’s former CEO, Dr. Cary Sennett, spoke at the AAAAI meeting about the importance of allergen shot treatments. Proposed changes to USP 797 pose a threat to patients by disrupting access to allergy immunotherapy.

Diversity in Clinical Trials  Download PDF – February 29, 2016
AAFA’s Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Research, Meryl Bloomrosen, spoke at an FDA meeting about the importance of diversity in clinical trials and involving patients in research.

South Carolina’s Emergency Anaphylaxis Treatment Act   – February 23, 2016
AAFA sent a letter in support of South Carolina’s Emergency Anaphylaxis Treatment Act, which would expand access to epinephrine in public places.

Clean Power Plan  Download PDF – February 12, 2016
Along with other health organizations, we signed a letter to the National Governors Association urging state governors to move forward with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

School Asthma Policies  Download PDF – February 1, 2016
We sent a letter to the Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus expressing concern about recent asthma emergencies in Texas schools.

Allergen Immunotherapy  Download PDF – January 29, 2016
We submitted comments regarding proposed regulations that could threaten the availability of immunotherapy treatments (allergy shots) in the United States.

Amtrak Pet Policy  Download PDF – January 29, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to Amtrak leadership expressing concern about a pilot program that would allow pets to travel on trains.
Amtrak Response to AAFA  Download PDF – February 9, 2016
Read Amtrak's response to AAFA's letter.

Food Labeling Modernization Act  Download PDF – January 27, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to the sponsors of the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015 to thank them for introducing the legislation.

FDA Allergenic Products Advisory Committee Spoken Comments  Download PDF – January 21, 2016
AAFA CEO Cary Sennett represented allergy patients’ perspective in testimony before the FDA’s Allergenic Products Advisory Committee.
FDA Allergenic Products Committee Presentation  Download PDF

Smoke-Free Housing  Download PDF – January 19, 2016
AAFA submitted comments to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in support of HUD’s proposed ban on smoking in public housing units.

Every Student Succeeds Act  Download PDF – January 21, 2016
As part of the Working to Improve Student Health (WISH) coalition, AAFA signed a letter in support of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Nucala™ (Mepolizumab)Comments  Download PDF – January 12, 2016
We submitted comments to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) regarding Nucala (Mepolizumab) treatment for asthma.
Nucala™ Mepolizumab Cover Letter  Download PDF

Protection of Research Participants  Download PDF – January 6, 2016
AAFA sent comments to the Department of Health and Human Services about how to update and improve protections for patients participating in clinical research.

Health Homes Program  Download PDF – December 21, 2015
We signed a letter in support of including asthma as one of the chronic conditions addressed by California’s Department of Health Care Services’ Health Homes Program.

Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS  Download PDF – November 24, 2015
AAFA and other organizations signed a letter in support of Dr. Karen DeSalvo’s nomination for Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

FDA Patient Engagement Advisory Committee  Download PDF – November 20, 2015
AAFA submitted comments to the FDA expressing disappointment that the FDA was not planning to include a greater number of patient representatives on the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee.

EPA Carbon Limit Protection (Senate) Download PDF – November 16, 2015
EPA Carbon Limit Protections (House of Representatives)  Download PDF – November 16, 2015
AAFA joined other health organizations in signing a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives opposing two Congressional Review Acts (CRA) that would block the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and carbon limits for new power plants.

CDC Funding  Download PDF – November 16, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to Congress to support strong funding for the CDC in any Fiscal Year 2016 spending legislation.

AHRQ Funding (Senate)  Download PDF – October 22, 2015
AHRQ Funding (House of Representatives)  Download PDF – October 22, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to Congress to support funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Medication Therapy Management (MTM)  Download PDF – October 16, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to Senators Isakson and Warner, co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group, to support the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2015 in their legislative efforts.

National Asthma Control Program Download PDF – September 11, 2015
AAFA and other organizations supported funding for the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program in Fiscal Year 2016.

Institute of Medicine Food Allergy Study Download PDF – August 30-September 1, 2015
AAFA commented to the Institute of Medicine regarding the study Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and Public Policy.

Ozone Pollution Limit Download PDF – August 11, 2015
We signed a letter to President Obama to show support of better ozone limits in the air.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act Download PDF – August 7, 2015
We signed a letter to Congress to support an asthma management provision in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Medication Therapy Management Download PDF – August 6, 2015
We signed a letter asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow more at-risk elderly patients to participate in the Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program.

Clean Air Protections Download PDF – August 4, 2015
We joined other health and medical groups to stand against a bill that would affect how clean the air is. This includes the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan Download PDF – August 3, 2015
We praised the President’s message of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan Final Rule.

A Declaration on Climate Change and Health Download PDF – June 23, 2015
We joined other groups to restate the public health community’s promise to look at climate change as a health issue.

Secondary Preventive Services Download PDF – June 19, 2015
We signed a letter of support to the Treasury Secretary Jack Lew about secondary preventive services. These keep a disease or illness from getting worse. They also help those with asthma manage it and prevent related problems.

Electronic Health Records Download PDF – June 15, 2015
We sent comments to the CMS about possible changes to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.

Improving Care for Medicare-Aged Population Download PDF – June 14, 2015
We sent comments to the Senate Chronic Care Working Group. We offered options for better care for Medicare patients.

Part D Beneficiary Appeals Fairness Act Download PDF – June 1, 2015
AAFA signed a letter in support of the Part D Beneficiary Appeals Fairness Act. This enables seniors to appeal if their medication is put on a Medicare Part D Specialty Tier.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Strategic Vision Download PDF – May 15, 2015
We sent comments to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) about research for the next 10 years.

The Family Asthma Act of 2015 Download PDF  – May 15, 2015
We support the Family Asthma Act of 2015. This act would make asthma research and public education better in the United States.

The School Asthma Management Plans Act Download PDF  – May 15, 2015
We support the School Asthma Management Plans Act. This would allow schools to improve how they manage asthma care.

NIH Innovation Fund Download PDF – May 13, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to support funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) included in the 21st Century Cures Act draft bill.

The Climate Change Health Promotion and Protection Act Download PDF – April 13, 2015
We signed a letter to Representative Lois Capps. We thanked her for bringing back the Climate Change Health Promotion and Protection Act. This act would help address the threat of climate change on health.

Ratepayer Protection Act Download PDF – April 13, 2015
AAFA and other health groups signed a letter against to the Ratepayer Protection Act. This act would delay and block critical clean air protections.

Medication Costs and the Impact on Patients Download PDF – April 9, 2015
AAFA’s former CEO, Dr. Cary Sennett, spoke at a congressional briefing about the impact rising medication costs will have on patients

Children’s Health Programs Funding Download PDF – March 26, 2015
We signed a letter to support more money for federal programs that help schools reduce indoor air pollution. This would occur through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)’s office of Children’s Health Protection and the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Funding Download PDF – March 20, 2015
We signed a letter against ending the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the House Labor HHS Subcommittee’s 2016 spending bill.

Ozone Standards Download PDF – March 17, 2015
AAFA and other health groups sent comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This would limit the amount of harmful ozone in the air.

Dormant Therapies and 21st Century Cures Download PDF – March 17, 2015
AAFA and other health groups signed a letter that the Dormant Therapies Act be included in the 21st Century Cures Act draft bill. This would help develop new cures for diseases. It would improve the quality of life for Americans with chronic diseases.

National Asthma Control Program – March 11, 2015
AAFA and other asthma organizations signed a letter to support more money for the National Asthma Control Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).