Celiac Disease Awareness Month Call to Action: Email your representative TODAY in support of the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019 (sample text provided)
In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free Watchdog will be issuing four calls to action (one each week).
The third call to action pertains to the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019.
Please personalize the sample letter pasted below and adapted from a letter provided to Gluten Free Watchdog by Rachel Jenkins, Legislative Assistant to Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13). Email this letter to your local representative. A state-by-state directory is available at https://www.house.gov/representatives
You can also find your representative by zip code at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative?fbclid=IwAR0XjoajmDCz7loMHtt2-Tx8K6-Rvf6QifiyVklSPejTw1J7A7ene0gwbUA
For more information about this bill, including links to the text of the bill and a listing of current co-sponsors, see https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/call-to-action-gluten-in-medicine-disclosure-act-of-2019/
Please personalize this sample letter adapted from a letter provided by Rachel Jenkins, Legislative Assistant to Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) by including a personal story about why this bill is meaningful to you or a loved one.
May Is Celiac Awareness Month
Cosponsor H.R. 2074: The Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019
Dear [Name of your representative]:
According to the Mayo Clinic, the rate of celiac disease has almost quadrupled over the past 50 years. Celiac disease is a serious, genetic autoimmune disorder in which ingesting gluten causes damage to the villi of the small intestine. It affects nearly 3 million people in the United States. In comparison, Alzheimer’s disease affects approximately 2 million people.
The only treatment is the total elimination of gluten-containing products, including wheat, barley, and rye sources. For some, failure to avoid these can lead to life-threatening complications. Currently, this is nearly impossible to determine the presence of gluten in prescription medicine.
In 2004, the Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act required packaged food labels to identify all ingredients containing wheat and other allergens. This requirement does not extend to prescription drugs. After repeated efforts to shed light on this issue, the FDA released draft guidance in 2017 encouraging drug manufacturers to disclose the presence of gluten. While some manufacturers have taken this step, it has not been implemented consistently. This leads to anxiety of not knowing whether or not your medicine is causing more harm than good.
That is why Representatives Tim Ryan and Tom Cole introduced the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act, which will make it easier to identify gluten in prescription drugs. This legislation would require drug manufacturers to label medications intended for human use with the list of ingredients, their source, and whether gluten is present. A gluten-containing drug that does not meet these requirements would be considered misbranded under Section 502 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This labeling will allow concerned consumers to know, for example, if the starch in their prescription drugs comes from wheat or corn. For the nearly 3 million Americans living with celiac disease, that small distinction is an important one.
Please join other members in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation to make it easier and safer for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to make informed purchases of needed medications.
For more information or to cosponsor, please contact Rachel Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Congressman Ryan’s Office or Shane Hand (email@example.com) in Congressman Cole’s Office.