The AAAAI was on Capitol Hill again, making the voices of our members and the patients we serve heard. Here's a brief look at the advocacy activities we participated on October 31 and November 1, 2019.
AAAAI Presents Congressional Briefing on Penicillin Allergy
AAAAI President David M. Lang, MD, FAAAAI, joined Rich Dexter from the Peggy Lillis Foundation, David Hyun, MD, from The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Emily Sydnor Spivak, MD, MHS, FIDSA, from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and University of Utah Hospital and VA Salt Lake City Health Care System for a congressional briefing on penicillin allergy. The briefing built on the momentum of the recent Senate Appropriations language
directing the Department of Health and Human Services to do public outreach on penicillin allergy and antibiotic stewardship, as well as the AAAAI's op-ed in The Hill
The message we conveyed during the briefing is that the public has a role to play in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. As Dr. Lang said in his October email message
, "It's vitally important for patients with unverified penicillin allergy to understand that undergoing appropriate diagnostic evaluation in the overwhelming majority of cases will lead to removal of the label of penicillin allergy. Evidence from multiple studies clearly demonstrates that when this 'delabeling' happens, it's associated with improved outcomes over time and reduces the spread of antibiotic resistance. As health care transitions to a system of value-based reimbursement, this is another opportunity for our specialty to demonstrate that we bring value to the table."
From left to right: Dr. Hyun, Rich Dexter, Dr. Spivak, and Dr. Lang at the Congressional briefing.
AAAAI Honors Members of Congress with Advocate Awards
AAAAI leaders—Executive Vice President Thomas A. Fleisher, MD, FAAAAI, Dr. Lang, Andrew W. Murphy, MD, FAAAAI, and Paul V. Williams, MD, FAAAAI—visited several members of Congress on October31 and presented them with AAAAI Advocate Awards. These awards were presented to:
• Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), for leading the effort to reinstate food allergy as a condition covered by the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program
and supporting the congressional briefing on penicillin allergy.
• Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), for his work securing the recent Senate Appropriations language directing the Department of Health and Human Services to do public outreach on penicillin allergy and antibiotic stewardship.
• House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), for introducing the School-based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act, H. R. 2468
• Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA), a food allergy champion, for his work in the House supporting food allergy research and sponsoring the AAAAI's congressional briefing on food allergy in May.
• Representative Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), a food allergy champion, for sponsoring the AAAAI's congressional briefing on food allergy in May and introducing the School-based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act, H. R. 2468.
The AAAAI would also like to thank Sarbjit (Romi) Saini, MD, FAAAAI, and Shahab Virani, MD, who participated in additional visits with members of Congress.
From left to right: Will McKelvey (Legislative Assistant for Representative Khanna), Dr. Murphy, Representative Khanna, and Dr. Lang.
From left to right: Dr. Williams, Dr. Murphy, Senator Blumenthal, Dr. Lang, and Dr. Fleisher.
From left to right: Dr. Williams, Dr. Fleisher, Senator Blunt, and Dr. Lang.