Highlights from the Hill May 21, 2015
Senators Gardner and Wyden Introduce CBD Legislation
On Wednesday, May 13th Senators Cory Gardner (CO) and Ron Wyden (OR) introduced the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2015 (S. 1333), which would remove therapeutic hemp and cannabidiol from the Controlled Substances Act so that people living with epilepsy and uncontrolled seizures can gain access to this treatment option. This bill is a companion bill to H.R. 1635, introduced by Representative Scott Perry (PA). We strongly support this and other compassionate access legislation to help protect individuals in states with medical cannabis and lift federal barriers to research on the connection between cannabidiol, cannabis, and epilepsy. You can read more and urge your Senators to support S. 1333 at www.epilepsy.com/cannabis.
I Am (Still) Essential Campaign Urges Secretary Burwell to Review 2016 Plans
On Thursday, May 15th the I Am (Still) Essential campaign sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, urging her to conduct a thorough review of the 2016 plans and reject those that do not comply with new patient protections included in the most recent Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016. More than 215 organizations, including 18 Epilepsy Foundation affiliates, spoke with a united voice and urged the Secretary to transparency and improved access to care in ACA plans by rejecting discriminatory practices such as high patient cost-sharing and excessive use of prior authorization and other medical management techniques. The Epilepsy Foundation is a leader of the I Am (Still) Essential campaign. Read the letter and learn more about the campaign at www.epilepsy.com/aca.
Epilepsy Foundation Sends Group Letter to Congress to Protect Patents and Innovation
Today, the Epilepsy Foundation and a diverse group of more than 90 national and state advocacy organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The letter urges Congress to maintain a strong patent system that encourages investments in medical breakthroughs. Patent protections can accelerate the discovery and development of new therapies and devices that individuals with epilepsy and many other complex, chronic conditions need to help them live their lives to the fullest potential. Read the letter and a statement from our CEO at www.epilepsy.com/patentsforinnovation.