2015 Statements and Testimony

November 4, 2015 - ASM Comments on Identifying Sources of Agricultural Innovation
That ASM sent comments to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) regarding an a Request for Information (RFI) on Identifying Sources of Agricultural Innovation.

December 2, 2015 - Report of the Fast-Track Action Committee on Mapping the Microbiome
The ASM sent a letter to Dr. John Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget regarding the Report of the Fast-Track Action Committee on Mapping the Microbiome.  The report was published by the Life Sciences Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council.

November 19, 2015 - ASM Comments on Proposed Changes to Human Subject Protection Regulations (Common Rule)
ASM applauds proposed changes in the Human Subject Protection Regulations that would exclude the use of spent, de-identified human specimens for routine validation of diagnostic tests, as well as other quality assurance activities and asks that that this exclusion from oversight be expanded to include all research on de-identified specimens that do not involve analysis of human genetic material.

November 18, 2015 - Bipartisan Letter Supports Increased Funding for NIH
Over 100 House of Representative members urge the Appropriations Committee to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at a level of at least $32 billion in any forthcoming appropriations legislation.

November 13, 2015 - ASM Supports Increasing Federal Research Funding by 5.2 percent in FY 2016
ASM signed on to a joint coalitions letter that represented thirteen groups and more than 500 individual scientific, academic and industrial societies urging Congress to increase funding for research in FY 2016.  Passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 made additional discretionary funds available to appropriators.

November 10, 2015 - ASM Recommendations for the FDA FY 2016 Budget
The ASM sent funding recommendations to the Committees on Appropriations for the FDA FY 2016 budget.

November 3, 2015 - Members of the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities on Capitol Hill
The Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) traveled to Washington, DC and attended a Hill Day planned by PSAB staff.  They met with members of Congress and their relevant staff.

October 29, 2015 - ASM Endorses Letter Supporting Increased Funding for the Antimicrobial Resistance
The ASM signed onto a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairs and Ranking members encouraging them to increase funding for antimicrobial resistance in the FY 2016 funding bills. 

October 6, 2015 - ASM Letter in Response to the Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid Point of Care Diagnostic Test Challenge 
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is holding a prize competition in which up to $20 million will be made available, subject to the availability of funds, for the delivery of one or more successful rapid point-of-care diagnostics that may be used by health care providers to identify bacterial infections.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) are sponsoring the prize competition and invited public comments regarding the technical criteria and performance characteristics of the diagnostics for which the prize will be offered.  The development and use of rapid, point-of-care, and innovative diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria was a goal identified in the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria released in September 2014  and addressed in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria released in March 2015.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are contributing technical and regulatory expertise to develop the award evaluation process.

September 22, 2015 - ASM Comments on Cost Increase for the Drug Pyrimethamine
The ASM sent a letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals regarding the company’s recent 5,000 percent cost increase for the decades old generic drug pyrimethamine (Daraprim). 

September 18, 2015 - ASM Sends Letter to Members of Congress on Antibiotic Tax Credit Bill
The ASM sent a letter to Representatives Boustany and Thompson regarding their proposed Antibiotic and Rapid Diagnostic Research and Development Tax Credit Act of 2015.  The legislation is designed to accelerate discovery of novel tools against drug resistant microbial pathogens.

September 18, 2015 - ASM Endorses Antibiotic Resistance Tax Credit Bil Letter
The ASM signed onto a letter expressing support for the Reinvigorating Antibiotic and Diagnostic Innovation (READI) Act, H.R. 3539.

September 8, 2015 - ASM Poses Questions to CMS on Implementation of IQCP
The ASM submitted questions to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the implementation of Individualized Quality Control Plans (IQCPs) in the clinical microbiology laboratory.  The answers sought will allow ASM to assist clinical microbiologists prepare for implementation of their own IQCPs by the deadline of January 2016.  

August 24, 2015 - ASM Comments on the List of Select Agents and Toxins
The ASM submitted comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins.  The comments addressed adding certain Influenza virus strains to the List of Select Agents and Toxins.

August 21, 2015 - ASM Endorses NIH Salary Reductions Letter
The ASM signed onto a letter requesting that the House Appropriations Committee reject a proposal to reduce the salary limit imposed on extramural researchers funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to Level III of the Executive pay scale.

August 20, 2015 - ASM Supports Increased Funding for Biodefense
The ASM signed onto a letter to Congress from the Informal Coalition on Biodefense and Public Health Preparedness expressing concern over the funding levels for programs critical to the nation’s preparedness against threats both naturally occurring, like Ebola and pandemic influenza, and deliberate, such as chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) events. To read the letter to the Senate, click here.

August 17, 2015 - ASM Comments on Department of State and Commerce Control Regulations for Certain Pathogens
The ASM submitted comments to the US Department of Commerce and the US State Department regarding the Category XIV materials (Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents, and Associated Equipment) included on the United States Munitions List and the Commerce Control List.

August 17, 2015 - ASM Comments on NIH RFI on the Framework for the NIH-wide Strategic Plan
The ASM submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RFI on the Framework for the NIH-wide Strategic Plan.  The comments will help NIH develop a 5-year strategic plan to outline a vision for biomedical research that will pursue fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce illness and disability.

August 10, 2015 - ASM Endorses Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee on Scientific Travel
The ASM signed onto a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee thanking them for highlighting the importance of ensuring that federally employed and contracted scientists and engineers are able to attend mission-relevant scientific and technical conferences during the markup of the FY 2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act.  A similar letter was sent to the House Appropriations Committee. To read that letter click here.

July 30, 2015 - ASM Endorses Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in the Healthier Americans legislation
The ASM signed onto a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions chairman and ranking member urging them to include S. 185, the bipartisan Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act, in broader legislation they are developing for the Innovation for Healthier Americans initiative.

July 16, 2015 - Payment Determinations for Calendar Year 2016 for New Clinical Laboratory Tests
The ASM presented recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at its annual public meeting on payment levels for new tests to be included in the 2016 Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule.

July 8, 2015 - ASM Endorses Letter to Senate HELP Committee on NIH
The ASM signed onto a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions commending them on their action about the critical role of the NIH.  The committee is currently drafting legislation to enhance the role of NIH. 

June 23, 2015 - ASM Joins Call to Action for American “Innovation Imperative”
The ASM joined other organizations as well as leaders of industry, higher education, science and engineering in a call to action for stronger federal policies and investment to drive domestic research and development.

June 22, 2015 - ASM Supports 21st Century Cures Act
The 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) would reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for three years at funding levels that represent an increase of $1.5 billion per year and provide $10 billion over the next five years in mandatory funding through an NIH Innovation Fund. In a letter to Congress, coordinated by Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, more than 100 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, and academic and research institutions and organizations expressed their support for H.R. 6.

June 2, 2015 - ASM Participates in White House Antibiotic Stewardship Forum
More than 150 food companies, retailers, and human and animal health stakeholders met at the Antibiotic Stewardship Forum at the White House to highlight commitments to implement changes over the next five years to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and prevent the spread of resistant infections.  Dr. Gail Cassell, Chair of the PSAB Committee on Biomedical Research, represented ASM at the White House Forum.

May 8, 2015 - ASM Comments on the 21st Century Cures Act
The ASM sent comments on the 21st Century Cures Initiative to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

April 21, 2015 - Energy & Environment Provisions in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2016
The ASM sent a letter to members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology about provisions in the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2016, H.R. 1806.

April 21, 2015 - ASM Endorses Letter Supporting NSF Funding in America COMPETES Act
The ASM signed-on to a Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) letter sent to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology expressing concern with language in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) that would create separate budget authorization levels for individual NSF directorates.    

April 21, 2015 - ASM Endorses Letter of Concern About Government Travel Restrictions
The ASM signed onto a letter to Congress that expressed concern about the impact of Administration regulations and legislative initiatives related to government travel on the science and engineering enterprise and the pace of innovation.

April 20, 2015 - ASM Endorses 302(b) Allocation Increase for the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and Related Agencies
The ASM signed onto a letter as a member of the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) to the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation urging them to restore the Fiscal Year 2016 302(b) allocation for the Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to at least the FY 2010 level of $163.6 billion.  CHF Statement

April 7, 2015 - ASM Comments on Impact of Select Agent Regulations
The ASM submitted comments in response to the Office of Science and Technology and Policy's request for comment on the impact that the Select Agent Regulations have had on science, technology, and national security, and on the benefits, costs, and limitations of the regulations.

April 7, 2015 - ASM Comments on Select Agent Regulations Biennial Review
The ASM submitted comments to the Centers for Disease Control on the Biennial Review of the Select Agent Regulations

March 25, 2015 - ASM Letter Concerning CDC Biosafety Recommendations
The ASM sent a letter to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Department of Health and Human Services regarding CDC Biosafety recommendations.

March 18, 2015 - ASM Endorses Coalition Letter on FY 2016 Funding for Biosecurity and Public Health Preparedness
As a member of the Informal Coalition on Biodefense and Public Health Preparedness, the ASM signed onto a letter to Senator Roy Blunt encouraging increased funding for programs critical to the Nation's preparedness against infectious diseases and deliberate chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks. The Coalition's FY 2016 Funding Recommendations are available by clicking here.

March 18, 2015 - ASM Endorses Coalition FY 2016 Funding Recommendations
As a member of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Coalition, the ASM signed onto the coalition's FY 2016 funding recommendation of "at least $32 billion" for the National Institutes of Health.  

March 17, 2015 - ASM Supports Funding for AFRI
The ASM, a founding member of Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR), signed on to a letter urging members of the house and senate committee on appropriations, agriculture subcommittees, to fund the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) with at least $450 million in FY 2016.   AFRI is the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) competitive grants program and has been authorized at $700 million since its creation in 2008. 

March 16, 2015 - ASM Supports American Innovation Act
T
he ASM, along with 133 other organizations, endorsed the American Innovation Act introduced by Senator Durbin (D-IL) which would increases funding by inflation plus 5 percent annually for the following federal science research programs in the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research and Services.  

March 10, 2015 - ASM Endorses the Antimicrobial Resistance Line-Items in the President's FY 2016 Budget Request
The ASM joined 57 other organization and signed onto a letter to the House and Senate Committee on Appropriations Chairs and Ranking Members urging them to provide the resources necessary to implement the
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommendations to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria.

February 2, 2015 - ASM Endorses the Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act
The ASM signed on to a letter endorsing S. 185, the Promise for Antibiotics and Therapeutics for Health (PATH) Act.  The legislation would establish a new limited population antibacterial drug approval pathway for antibiotics to treat serious or life-threatening infections.

January 28, 2015 - ASM Statement on the President’s Proposed 2016 Budget to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
The ASM released a statement on the President’s Proposed 2016 Budget to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

January 28, 2015 - ASM Endorses American Cures Act of 2015
The ASM sent a letter to Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) endorsing the bill which would provide a five percent increase in funding for biomedical research supported by the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies involved in biomedical research.

January 8, 2015 - ASM and PASCV Comment on FDA Draft Guidance on LDTs
During the FDA Public Workshop “Framework for Regulatory Oversight of Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)” held on January 8-9, ASM and the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (PASCV) have commented on the implementation of this plan in clinical laboratories.

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