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August 7, 2019

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Urge Congress to DISARM Superbugs

The DISARM Act, federal legislation to combat antimicrobial resistance by promoting research and development of new antibiotics, requiring hospitals to establish stewardship programs, and reporting antibiotic use and resistance data to CDC was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) late last month. Ask your representatives to co-sponsor the DISARM Act here.

IDSA member advocacy has an impact on building congressional support for DISARM. Your voice makes a difference:

  • Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) agreed to serve as the lead Republican sponsor of DISARM in the House after his staff met with IDSA member Roger Bedimo, MD, FIDSA.
  • Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) became the first representative to cosponsor DISARM after her staff heard from IDSA member Ricardo Franco, MD.
  • Two additional congressmen—Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Rep. George Holding (R-NC) also cosponsored the bill after their staff heard from IDSA members Neil Clancy, MD and Vance Fowler, MD, FIDSA.

In an encouraging move, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced on Aug. 2 two new policies to improve reimbursements for new antibiotics as part of the coming fiscal year’s Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule. CMS increased the New Technology Add On Payments for new antibiotics, making it easier for antibiotics to qualify for these payments, and increased the severity level designation for Medicare cases involving AMR. Together, these policies are intended to increase reimbursements to allow for the use of new, costlier antibiotics when appropriate.  However, their actual impact is not yet known, and more robust policies are likely needed to ensure that antibiotic developers can earn a fair and reasonable return on investment.  Equally important, a federal requirement to establish meaningful stewardship programs is also essential.  CMS Administrator Seema Verma acknowledged these points in a Health Affairs blog post.

Stay tuned for more opportunities to advocate for DISARM and follow us on Twitter at @IDSAInfo using the hashtag #DISARMsuperbugs.

 

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