A bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee includes critical funding for lupus research and education. The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) thanks the committee for supporting the funding bill, which has moved to the full Senate for consideration.
If the bill is approved, it would bring an additional $6 million for the National Lupus Patient Registry Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); continuous funding for the Office of Minority Health’s Lupus Initiative; and $34 billion to support medical research, including lupus, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“We applaud the Senate for their support of critical funding for lupus research to accelerate the discovery and development of new therapies, and ultimately, cures,” Sandra C. Raymond, LFA president and CEO, said in a press release. “We have worked diligently with the Congress to ensure that these vital programs continue and expand upon the important work that is being done to improve and save the lives of people impacted by this devastating disease.”
The LFA is the nation’s only organization solely dedicated to focus on lupus research and to find a cure for this disease. The organization also supports those who suffer from lupus’ life-changing impact.
“In 2003, at the urging of the Lupus Foundation of America and its national network of chapters and activists, Congress established the National Lupus Patient Registry (NLPR), the first comprehensive research study to assess the prevalence and incidence of lupus in the United States,” Raymond said. “Thanks to ongoing congressional support, NLPR is helping us better understand and measure the burden of illness, the social and economic impact of the disease, and to stimulate additional private investment by industry for drug development.”
The vote comes in the wake of the Lupus Federal Working Group’s new lupus research plan to guide NIH’s work on March 16 in a special congressional briefing. The Lupus Federal Working Group includes lupus advocacy organizations such as the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR), the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and the Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, together with the Congressional Lupus Caucus (a bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives concerned about lupus).
“Additionally through our advocacy efforts, we urged Congress to continue to support the Office of Minority Health National Health Education Lupus Program and efforts to develop a clinical trial education and implementation plan for lupus,” Raymond said. “On an ongoing basis, we work to ensure that the NIH has sufficient funding to fulfill their critical mission of uncovering new knowledge that will improve public health, as well as reduce the burdens of illness and disability.”