The Subcommittee on Health of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives has announced a hearing for Wednesday: "Promoting the Development of Antibiotics and Ensuring Judicious Use in Humans."
The witness line-up is:
- Janet Woodcock, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration
- Robin Robinson, Ph.D., Director, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Department of Health and Human Services
- Brad Spellberg, M.D., F.I.D.S.A., Associate Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Member, Infectious Diseases Society of America Antimicrobial Availability Task Force
- Sandra Fryhofer, M.D., Council on Science and Public Health, American Medical Association
- John S. Bradley, M.D., American Academy of Pediatrics, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Rady Children's Hospital
- Barry Eisenstein, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.I.D.S.A., Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Cubist Pharmaceuticals
- Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director, Trust for America's Health
This is the second hearing the Health Subcommittee has had this spring, apparently at the prompting of the chairman of Energy and Commerce, Rep. Henry Waxman, who made the opening statement at the first such hearing in April:
We need to debate the health care bill and review its implementation. But we ought to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time. Because it is not going to make much difference if you have health insurance or not if you are going to die from something that could have been prevented from an antibiotic. And we are seeing more and more antibiotic resistance. (Transcript)
Reading between the lines, I'm going to guess this hearing will lean heavily on the IDSA's campaign to improve market conditions for pharma companies in order to revive antibiotic development (an issue I discussed recently at the old Superbug -- we're working on getting the archives moved over).