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July 16, 2007


July 16, 2007


In a victory for child health, the House of Representatives last week passed legislation to speed the development of medical devices designed for children. The bill, entitled the Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act, passed the House overwhelmingly as part of a broader Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bill. The measure, sponsored by Reps. Markey (D-MA) and Rogers (R-MI), offers incentives to manufacturers of medical devices for children, requires post-market studies of devices to ensure their safety and efficacy, and coordinates research efforts into pediatric medical devices at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the FDA. Also passed as part of the FDA bill was legislation reauthorizing two laws aimed at generating pediatric clinical drug trials, which the ATS also supported.

The Senate passed the pediatric medical device and drug testing measures in May. The bills now go to a House-Senate conference committee, where members of the House and Senate will work out differences between the two bills, before they are signed into law by the President.

The ATS has been one of the leading organizations, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, in working to gain passage of the pediatric medical device legislation.


Senate Committee to Consider Domestic TB Legislation

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, chaired by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), is set to consider the domestic tuberculosis (TB) legislation, the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, S. 1551, sponsored by Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Hutchison (R-TX) on July 18th. The bill will increase funds for the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Program for the Elimination of Tuberculosis and state TB control programs, and expand research on TB diagnostic and treatment tools at the NIH and CDC. Action has not yet been scheduled on the House version of the bill, H.R. 1532, sponsored by Reps. Green (D-TX) and Wilson (R-NM).

All ATS members and friends are urged to contact their two Senators to request their cosponsorship of the bill to ensure that it passes through the Senate HELP Committee and proceeds to a Senate floor vote. The following is a list of the members of the Senate HELP Committee. If your Senator is on this list, please make a special effort to contact them to request a yes vote on S. 1551. Names in bold indicate Senators that are already bill cosponsors, so please thank these Senators for their support and urge them to push the bill to a Senate floor vote.

Members of the Senate Health, Ed., Labor and Pensions Committee
Democrats Republicans
Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Chair Michael Enzi (R-WY), Rnk. Mem.
Chris Dodd (D-CT) Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Tom Harkin (D-IA) Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Richard Burr (R-NC)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Patty Murray (D-WA) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Jack Reed (D-RI) Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Barack Obama (D-IL) Wayne Allard (R-CO)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH-bill sponsor) Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Bernard Sanders

How To Take Action

Contact your Senators today to urge them to cosponsor the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, S. 1551, support it during consideration by the Senate HELP Committee, and ensure a full Senate vote as soon as possible. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator or give your state if you do not know their name. When you are connected to an office, ask for the Health Legislative Assistant. If you leave a voicemail message, include your name and phone number so that they can call you back.

The following is a sample phone message:
"I am a constituent and a healthcare provider from (your town) and I am calling to ask Sen. ___ to cosponsor the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, S. 1551, support it during consideration by the Senate HELP Committee, and ensure a full Senate vote as soon as possible. The bill must be passed this year to strengthen domestic TB control efforts to prevent outbreaks of drug resistant TB and expand research to find easier, more effective TB diagnostics, drugs and vaccines."

Points of Contact

Gary Ewart Senior Director, Government Relations
Nuala Moore Senior Legislative Representative
Joe Kirby DC Office Administrator