Congress must extend critical federal funding for type 1 diabetes research
While Congress debates healthcare and insurance markets, it’s easy to forget that the government plays a special role in research that helps millions of Americans live fuller lives. Indeed, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies are the largest sources of health research funding — not just in the United States, but worldwide — with the money used to develop therapies and find cures for the diseases that most afflict Americans.
More than 1.25 million people in the U.S. live with type 1 diabetes (T1D); constant control of their disease is critical to survival. The Special Diabetes Program (SDP) at the NIH has long had bipartisan support and has delivered life-changing therapies allowing many more Americans to live longer, healthier lives.
This week, my son Jonathan and I are back in Washington, D.C. with JDRF, the leading organization that funds T1D research, for its Children’s Congress, urging the House and Senate to renew the SDP for another three years. Because of federal funding for diabetes research by the SDP, there has been significant progress for better treatments. It has shown tangible results by helping scientists make significant advances in prevention studies, treatments and research to achieve the ultimate objective: a cure.
I’ll never forget the moment, just a year ago, when Jonathan’s physician told us he had a spot on a clinical trial for the first-generation “artificial pancreas,” the first system to automatically dose insulin to improve blood sugar management. It dramatically improves the lives of people with T1D -— and Continue reading