Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bill Promoting Genomic Testing: Advancing Access to Precision Medicine Act

This week, California's Eric Swallwell (D) introduced a bill with four other congressional supporters, the "Advancing Access to Precision Medicine Act."

The AAPMA bill has two parts.

The first part requests HHS and National Academy of Science to issue a comprehensive report on genomic medicine and overcoming barriers to precision medicine, including preventive uses of genomics. 

The second part provides federal funding for several years to any state Medicaid plans which opt in, and would provide 90% federal payment for genome sequencing in children with intractable undiagnosed disorders that have also required ICU admission.
  • Coverage at Genomeweb here.
  • Press release by Swalwell here.
  • The bill is H.R. 5026 and the status is "referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce."  Here.
    • Cosponsors are Shimkus (R-IL), Peters (D-CA), Paulsen (R-MN), and Vargas (D-CA).
      • Note it is a very different bill than the similarly titled Advancing Precision Medicine Act back in 2016 by Lamar Alexander (here).
      • Swallwell and other legislators urged HHS to study and promote precision medicine in a letter to HHS in March 2017, here.
  • Supporters include PMC, BIOCOM, American Medical Technology Association, and AACR, as well as the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases.
    • Via a July 2017 letter to Swallwell, PMC supported the legislation in draft form, here.
The bill probably wouldn't score too expensively as one part is just a written federal report and one part is a very narrowly defined pediatric genomic benefit (e.g. 1000 children a year at $10,000 each would be $10M in a federal budget around $3T).

Personal note - 37-year-old Swalwell was born about ten miles from where I grew up in rural Iowa (his town was the county seat and had two stoplights, mine zero.  We had 17 people average per square mile; LA where I live has 7000 per square mile).  Swalwell eventually went to law school in Maryland and worked on the Hill before becoming a Democratic congressman for the SF East Bay/Oakland area.