2021 Advocacy Year in Review

The Endocrine Society advocates on behalf of our members, the patients they treat, and the science they research. Though our work in 2021 remained virtual, we successfully advocated for our policy priorities and raised the visibility of the value of endocrinology and endocrine research.

Let’s look back at some of our wins from this year.

  • We joined with LGBTQ+ youth and reproductive health organizations to intervene in the UK case Bell v. Tavistock and provided the UK Court of Appeal with information about the standard of transgender healthcare, our clinical practice guidelines, and consent of minors. The Court ruled in our favor, allowing minors with gender dysphoria to provide consent to puberty delaying medication.
  • We called on Congress to pass legislation that would lower the cost of insulin. We issued a position statement in January that launched discussions and our recommendations were incorporated into President Biden’s request. We worked with members of Congress, including the bipartisan Diabetes Caucus, and met with representatives and senators throughout the year to share our recommendations. During our Clinical Hill Day, we made insulin affordability a key message and launched an online advocacy campaign where our members could contact their senators and representatives about insulin affordability. We also led an effort with other provider groups to call on congressional leadership to address insulin pricing immediately, and shared stories from across the country about lack of access to affordable insulin with members of Congress. As a result of our advocacy, drug pricing provisions specifically calling out insulin were included in the massive social policy legislation known as Build Back Better.
  • We successfully advocated for funding increases of over $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that were incorporated into both the House and Senate versions of a fiscal year 2022 funding legislation. Although the legislation has not been finalized as of this writing, we successfully educated many congressional offices about the importance of endocrine research, and we will continue to advocate for finalized legislation in December.
  • We worked with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to include language in its FY 2022 appropriations bill encouraging HHS to review the data collected on audio-only services to expand access to healthcare for patients in rural and underserved communities. We launched an online campaign urging other senators to support this issue and 18 senators joined the Manchin-Cramer-Shaheen effort. The final Senate Appropriations Bill included our audio-only report language.
  • We were selected to have a seat at the high-level roundtable for the EU’s chemicals strategy for sustainability. Our objective was to ensure that revisions to legislation as part of implementation of the chemical strategy reflected the latest science on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Our members have and will continue to provide input on reports and give direct advice to policy makers to inform legislative developments, including pending revisions of the REACH and CLP legislation.
  • We responded to proposals to establish a new federal agency, known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Health (ARPA-H), and presented at two listening sessions hosted by the NIH and the White House Office on Science and Technology Programs (OSTP) where we shared our concerns and recommendations. We also shared our priorities for the new agency with Congress. We want to ensure that ARPA-H funds unique projects and does not compete with the NIH for funds. Our feedback was reflected in legislative language put forward by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), as well as the NIH summary report of the listening sessions.

Endocrine Society advocacy leads to real results and benefits our member researchers, clinicians, and the people they treat. Our success this year would not have been possible without our members’ participation. Taking action in an online campaign, amplifying our message on Twitter, or meeting with your member of Congress really does make a difference. We appreciate your work this year and look forward to continued success in 2022.

  • We conducted a virtual briefing with the Society for Women’s Health Research to discuss the importance of including sex as a biological variable (SABV) in research, provide an update on the NIH 2016 SABV policy and how the field has changed in the past five years, and offer recommendations for overcoming barriers to the inclusion of SABV in research, ensuring better healthcare for all.
  • We worked with the newly formed House Caucus on Social Determinants of Health to discuss ways Congress can help close disparity gaps. We continue to keep caucus members informed about our work and meet with them to find ways Congress can address this important issue.
  • We provided a contribution in response to a call by the UN Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights and submitted a response to an NIH Request for Information inform the development of new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at the NIH. Our priorities are to ensure that policy makers are aware of the disproportionate effects of EDCs on marginalized or disadvantaged communities, and that NIH policies are updated to ensure that diverse input is taken into consideration e.g., during grant reviews. The UN report on the Right to Science in the Context of Toxic Substances cited our contributions and echoed some of our key messages.

As you can see, Endocrine Society advocacy leads to real results and benefits our member researchers, clinicians, and the people they treat. Our success this year would not have been possible without our members’ participation. Taking action in an online campaign, amplifying our message on Twitter, or meeting with your member of Congress really does make a difference. We appreciate your work this year and look forward to continued success in 2022.

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