Current Initiatives and Advocacy History

The Medical Nutrition Equity Act

The Medical Nutrition Equity Act is bipartisan legislation that has previously been introduced in Congress. The bill, if passed, would provide public and private insurance coverage for medically necessary foods (including vitamins) for inherited metabolic disorders and digestive conditions including eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs). Elemental formula to treat EGIDs is an example of a medical food.

To support this legislation, APFED is working collaboratively with professional medical societies and other patient advocacy groups who represent patients that rely on medically necessary foods to treat their disease. These groups work collaboratively as part of a coalition known as Patients & Providers for Medical Nutrition Equity (PPMNE) and are working to encourage the passage of this federal bill.

>> Ask your members of Congress to sign on as a co-sponsor of this bill.

>> Share your experiences with insurance coverage of medical foods. APFED and other members of the coalition rely on these stories as we educate members of Congress about the need.

Safe Step Act

Step therapy is a health insurance protocol that requires a person to first try and fail one or more medications before their health plan will cover the drug initially selected by the patient and their provider.  The Safe Step Act (S. 652H. 2630) is proposed legislation that would ensure that patients can seek an exception for step therapy. It would establish a clear process for exemptions, require certain exceptions to step therapy protocols, and require insurers to respond to requests for exceptions or appeals within a specific time period. 

February 9, 2024 update: Congress is considering including the Safe Step Act in the final Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Reform package that is tentatively slated for a vote in March. If this issue is important to you, we encourage you to help us advocate for inclusion. The following link will help you send a letter to encourage Congress to pass this legislation:

Sesame Allergen Labeling

As of 2023, food manufacturers in the U.S. are required to label sesame as a major allergen. Recently, concerns that food manufacturers are complying with the new requirement by a.) intentionally adding sesame to food products in lieu of adequate cleaning and controls to prevent cross-contact with sesame, b.) listing sesame on the ingredient label without adding sesame as an ingredient to the food, and c.) through precautionary allergen labeling, such as “may contain” statements, which are a voluntary practice without a standardized system.

Alongside food allergy-focused patient advocacy groups, APFED has signed onto initiatives to urge the FDA to initiate a clear, science-based system related to precautionary labeling and to ask the Agency to declare the practice of intentionally adding sesame and other major allergens to foods to mitigate cross-contact as a violation of food safety rules. We have asked the FDA to meet with coalition members so that we can discuss our concerns about this practice and how it impacts those who are following medically-directed diets. We’ll continue to keep our membership posted of these efforts.

>>  Join APFED’s membership to receive monthly updates

Allergen Disclosure in Non-food Articles (ADINA) Act (H.R. 4263/S. 2079)

The ADINA Act is bipartisan legislation, that, if passed, would require prescription and over the counter medicine to list any of top 9 major food allergens and gluten if contained in the medicine.

>>  Ask your members of Congress to support this legislation.