June 30, 2008

IDSA Advocacy Update: IDSA Opposes HHS Proposal for Home Stockpiling of Doxycycline

IDSA has urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reconsider a proposal to allow home stockpiling of doxycycline to prepare for a potential terrorist anthrax attack.

At a meeting of the National Biodefense Science Board, IDSA delivered public comments raising concerns about the HHS initiative. In the absence of an increased risk of attack, IDSA said, “it is unclear how the potential benefits could outweigh the risks,” including misuse, side effects, and resistance. Furthermore, the Society commented, it is not clear that home stockpiling would significantly improve any federal or local efforts to distribute antibiotics in case of an emergency.

Federal policy on the issue is still evolving, and IDSA will continue to provide input.

Other advocacy items include:

  • IDSA joined over a dozen other public health organizations in signing on to an open letter to congress in support of scientifically valid immunization policies.
  • IDSA joined other global health groups in calling on Congress to significantly increase funding for global health research programs at CDC and NIH, especially at NIAID and the Fogarty International Center.
  • IDSA signed onto a letter urging Medicare to delay implementation of new Medicare released new incident-to billing guidelines which were set to take effect on June 2 until their potential impact could be analyzed in greater detail.

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