With more than 24 million Americans living with asthma and 50+ million with allergies, it's vital they have greater access to medical care and insurance to help ensure successful health outcomes. A safe and expedited approval process for new medical treatments in the United States is also critical to support patients' needs.
These are among the top issues at Allergy & Asthma Network's 25th annual Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill (AADCH) on May 3-4 in Washington, DC. The event will be held both in person and virtually. The theme this year is "Access, Affordability, and Innovation."
During AADCH, patients, families, advocates, healthcare professionals, and industry partners canvas Capitol Hill to meet with federal legislators and their staff. The goal is to help raise awareness of and discuss legislation to end needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions.
This year, Allergy & Asthma Network has scheduled in-person and virtual visits with members of Congress and policymakers. The Network will also host its annual Congressional Lunch Briefing on May 4 at 12 noon ET. It will feature the Congressional Asthma & Allergy Caucus, presentations from leading allergists, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and patient testimonials.
"We're excited to head to Capitol Hill in person this year to advocate for legislation and policies that put patients' needs first," says Allergy & Asthma Network President and CEO Tonya Winders. "Expanding access to high-quality, affordable care will help ensure successful health outcomes, especially for those who live in underserved communities. Black, Hispanic/Latino and Native American patients with asthma or COVID-19 are at higher risk for hospitalization and death.
"We also need greater access to innovative therapies and health technologies, such as biologic medications, immunotherapy, telehealth and remote patient monitoring."
In addition to access to care, Allergy & Asthma Network urges Congress to support a host of bills under consideration. These include:
- Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act – expands federal and state efforts to improve care nationwide for people living with asthma
- Food Labeling Modernization Act – improves food labeling for people living with food allergies.
- Safe Step Act – requires health plans to provide an exception process for any medication considered for step therapy.
Allergy & Asthma Network advocates for federal funding in support of asthma and allergy programs at NIH, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and EPA, among others. For a complete list of AADCH issues and priorities, visit our Advocacy Center at https://advocacy.allergyasthmanetwork.org.
Virtual advocates are invited to tune into the Congressional Lunch Briefing livestream on May 4, starting at 12 noon ET. They are also asked to send letters and emails to members of Congress and post on social media throughout May 4 using #AADCH2020. Register for the livestream at AADCH.org.
"The more advocates who connect with legislators, the more powerful our voice and the greater our impact," Winders says.