The Lupus Research Institute and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation are pleased to report that the U.S. Senate’s Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal 2014 recommends an unprecedented $200 million for a Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program that includes lupus among the diseases approved for funding. Previously the program has been funded at $50 million each year. The Senate Bill states:
“The Committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Service Surgeons General, to select medical research projects of clear scientific merit and direct relevance to military health. Research areas considered under this funding are restricted to: acupuncture, alcohol and substance abuse, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, arthritis, autism, chronic migraine and post-traumatic headache, congenital heart disease, DNA vaccine technology for postexposure prophylaxis, duchenne muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, food allergies, Fragile X syndrome, gulf war illness, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, lupus, malaria, metabolic disease, multiple sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, orthopedics, pancreatitis, Parkinson's, polycystic kidney disease, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, psychotropic medications, reconstructive transplantation, respiratory health, rheumatoid arthritis, segmental bone defects, spinal cord injury, tinnitus, tuberous sclerosis complex, and vision research.”
Thanks to the hard work of committed patient advocates and exceptional research scientists, lupus is gaining attention in committees across Congress. This bill would next move to the Senate floor in the fall and then would be considered in a Conference Committee before final passage by the end of the year. We will keep you informed of the progress.