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Energy and Commerce Democrats Call for Hearing on Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Health Research

February 28, 2014— Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the ranking Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Health Subcommittee, respectively, sent a Feb. 25 letter to the Republican leadership of the committee requesting a hearing on the progress made on the inclusion of women and minority groups in health research.

The letter states it has been more than 20 years since Congress passed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act, which mandated NIH research on women, required appropriate numbers of women and minorities be included in all NIH-sponsored clinical trials, and directed NIH-funded studies to analyze data by sex and minority group.

Noting that health disparities between men and women persist in conditions such as depression and cardiovascular disease and that many conditions such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS disproportionately affect minority populations, the letter states that without knowledge about why these differences occur, “we may be missing opportunities to find treatments and cures.” 

The letter, addressed to full committee chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and health subcommittee chair Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), also cites a recent 60 Minutes story that "raises important considerations regarding the applicability of research findings to women and how data collected on men and women are best analyzed."


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806