Stimulus Bill Includes NIH Funding for Research; LFA Advocates to Bring Focus on Lupus
Posted Feb 18 2009 10:34am
Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With the leadership of Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Tom Harkin, Congress secured a significant funding increase of $10.4 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Among other provisions this bill will provide much-needed funding to support research leading to scientific and medical breakthroughs, and ultimately new treatments. This is a victory for the medical and scientific community who are working tirelessly to develop new treatments for people with lupus and other diseases.
Government funding for lupus research is more important than ever before. November 20, 2008, marked 50 years since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last approved a new drug specifically to treat lupus. Compared to other diseases, lupus is unique, both in its lack of FDA-approved treatments, and in the dearth of research endeavors to identify better treatments, and, ultimately, a cure.
On March 2-3 an estimated 300 individuals with lupus, their families, and health professionals will deliver this message to Members of the United States Congress, and serve as the voices of the estimated 1.5 million people who have lupus, when the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) conducts its Eleventh Annual Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. LFA advocates have achieved numerous successes in recent years, including a call for a national public awareness campaign, funding for studies that determine the true prevalence of lupus in the U.S. and opening new sources of federal agency funding for biomedical research.
The past success of our advocates and the new legislation demonstrate the critical importance of advocacy efforts and why people with lupus must be heard by their elected officials and encouraged to support policy that expands research funding, increases access, and improves the quality of care. We hope that you will join us and that we can continue to count on your support in the fight against lupus.
On behalf of all people affected by lupus, the Lupus Foundation of America thanks President Obama and Congress for supporting NIH research and helping us move closer to finding better treatments and a cure for this disabling and life-threatening disease.