February 15, 2021
Your voices will be heard as loud and clear as ever, albeit virtually! Join us Monday, March 15 for our Advocate for Lupus Research meeting presented by PA Fund for Patient Advocacy at the LRA. Hear from DC experts and experienced lupus advocates on how to advocate effectively and what we need Congress to approve in the fiscal year 2022 budget to keep the lupus research momentum going.
Tuesday, March 16 through Friday, March 19 is your opportunity to put those lessons into advocacy action. Use LRA’s Legislative Action Center to contact members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and tell your story to engage them in the quest to increase funding for lupus research.
Register here to join LRA and advocates across the country as we raise our voices for lupus research.
What Did LRA Advocates Achieve in 2020?
2020 Advocate for Lupus Research Day was a testament to how much lupus advocates can accomplish from home. While hundreds communicated with legislators virtually, their achievements were quite real.
Your advocacy helped establish and maintain the Lupus Research Program (LRP) within the Department of Defense. The LRP began with an initial budget appropriation of $5 million in fiscal year 2017 and continued to receive that amount through fiscal year 2019. In its fourth year, our request to Congress to double the allocation to $10 million was granted. And last year, we were successful in continuing the $10 million allocation in the fiscal year 2021 budget.
Other successes included a significant increase in the National Institutes of Health budget for biomedical research, and additional funding to allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration help the pharmaceutical industry develop new treatments — and hopefully one day a cure — for diseases like lupus.
Why We Need to Ask Every Year
You might wonder why we need to ask for funding to support lupus research every year. It’s a must for many reasons. Funding is allocated on an annual basis but the need for lupus research continues. Also, as legislators come and go, new members of Congress must hear your stories to understand why. Regularly engaging with your senators and representatives helps maintain their support for lupus funding. Think of yourselves as the squeaky wheel that gets the grease – the voices heard the loudest and listened to the most!