A bill recently moved forward by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on labor, health human services and education for 2017 includes $6 million for lupus research and education, in addition to $34 billion for medical research overall at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Specifically, the committee bill supports funding for the Office of Minority Health’s National Health Education Lupus Program initiative to develop a clinical trial education and implementation plan for new public, private and community partnerships; evaluations of current minority education programs; and the creation of new clinical trial education models.
Additionally, the bill supports a National Lupus Patient Registry Program plan to evaluate lupus related “burden of illness” issues that include patient quality of life, and direct and indirect costs associated with the disease.
The bill further calls for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to support lupus burden of illness studies.
The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) is applauding the bill which will next go before the full Senate.
“For more than a decade, we have worked tirelessly to encourage the Congress to provide critical funding for lupus research and today’s vote is the culmination of our efforts, which gained momentum after the formation of the Congressional Lupus Caucus,” said Sandra C. Raymond, who LFA’s president and CEO, in a press release.
Most recently, LFA worked with the Congressional Lupus Caucus to help collect signatures for a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to establish the Lupus Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense (DOD). The letter was signed by 23 members of Congress.
The foundation also testified before the Senate Defense sub-committee and submitted a paper, Lupus and the Military, to the DOD’s congressionally directed Medical Research Program in Fort Detrick in Maryland.
“We look forward to continuing to work toward increasing federal funding for lupus research,” Raymond said.