PHILADELPHIA — Leaders of the American College of Physicians discussed a variety of topics related to public health policy that are “of importance to internists” in a press briefing at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting.
These are issues that “the ACP has been advocating for on behalf of internal medicine physicians, and [also], on behalf of patients,” Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, president of the ACP, said.
Lopez focused on the ACP’s advocacy regarding the prevention of injuries and deaths related to firearms, which, she said, impact the majority of people in the United States in some way.
According to Lopez, the ACP hopes to see “common sense” measures put in place, including increased funding for the CDC to research gun violence protection so that “we can move forward with the best practices and with what works,” strengthening background checks for purchasing firearms and closing loopholes within the background check system.
In addition, Lopez referenced recent legislation passed in Colorado that allows police to temporarily remove firearms from people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or to others.
“Taken together these could really make a substantial difference in our ability to fight this public health epidemic of firearm-related injury and death,” Lopez concluded. “Yes, we do think of this as a public health issue.”
Another significant issue facing medicine is the rising cost of prescription drugs and disparities in access to health care, said Andrew Dunn, MD, MPH, MACP, SFHM, chair of the ACP board of regents.
Leaders of the American College of Physicians discussed a variety of topics related to public health policy that are “of importance to internists.”
“The ACP is concerned about this issue because of the catastrophic effect that the inability to access needed prescriptions presents for our patients,” Dunn said. According to Dunn, many of these patients are forced to choose between medication and rent or purchasing food and go without the medication until their disease worsens.
To help control the cost of prescription drugs, the ACP advocates for policies that promote increased competition between pharmaceutical companies, that facilitate the availability of more generic drugs and that encourage increased cost transparency in the marketplace with pharmaceutical companies made to disclose research and production costs. In addition, the ACP supports legislation that allows Medicare Part D to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical manufacturers.
“As legislation progresses in Congress, the ACP will be evaluating the proposals to see how they align with ACP policy, with the goal being polices that do not increase regulatory burdens on physicians and patients or that limit patient access to medications.” – by Melissa J. Webb
Dunn A and Lopez AM. Advocacy and regulatory hot topics. Presented at: ACP Internal Medicine Annual Meeting. April 11-13, 2019; Philadelphia.
Disclosure: Healio Primary Care Today was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.