June 13, 2018
Our advocates knocked on Capitol doors in March with requests to robustly fund the Lupus Research Program first established last year within the Defense Department’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. And our nation’s legislators listened!
As a result of advocacy by lupus patients, organizations like the Lupus Research Alliance and supportive Members of Congress, the House Appropriations Committee today voted by an overwhelming majority to allocate another $5 million to fund this landmark Lupus Research Program in fiscal year 2019.
The bill will move to the House floor for consideration, likely in the next few weeks. It is expected that later this fall, it will be reconciled with the Senate version of the defense spending bill before final passage.
The House committee agreed to a budget of $5 million based on the tremendous response by scientific investigators to the program’s first grant in its first year. With funding of $5 million available, 121 applications from top lupus researchers throughout America were submitted and 13 were awarded. The new funds would allow support for additional worthy projects – all increasing potential for breakthroughs that can deliver better treatments and eventually a cure.
We are particularly proud to see the establishment and growth of this program which our advocates worked on securing for over 10 years.
On behalf of the national lupus community, the Lupus Research Alliance thanks the Congressional Lupus Caucus for its continued support for lupus research. We also greatly acknowledge and appreciate the ongoing commitment from House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Defense Subcommittee Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) and Lupus Caucus Co-chairs: Reps. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), William Keating (D-MA) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).