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ADA advises Congress on legislation

Washington—The Association expressed support for addiction treatment and drug shortage legislation offered in Congress while opposing efforts to weaken Food and Drug Administration tobacco regulation authority.

• H.R. 5711, the Access to Substance Abuse Treatment Act of 2012, would authorize grants for states and localities for treatment and prevention of addiction to methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and other illicit drugs. H.R. 5711 would recognize dental care as a covered wrap-around service for comprehensive treatment of persons with substance use disorders. ADA’s letter of support will be posted on the ADA.org substance use disorders Web page.

• Dental coalitions supporting drug shortage legislation told Congress, “Many dental professionals and their patients are greatly impacted by shortages of essential drugs.” House and Senate versions of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act include sections addressing drug shortages, although the legislative language varies. Letters supporting both the House and Senate versions were signed by the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Periodontology, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Dental Association, American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists and National Dental Association. The letter to House leaders also included the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American Association of Orthodontists and Hispanic Dental Association. The American Association of Women Dentists also signed the Senate letter.

• The ADA also joined a coalition of health organizations urging the House Appropriations Committee to reject any amendments to an Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies bill that would weaken FDA authority to regulate tobacco products.