NEW YORK, NY. Sept. 28 – Congratulations go out to the Lupus Research Alliance advocates!
The 2019 spending bill was signed into law today, granting the two requests Lupus Research Alliance advocates made to legislators on “Capitol Hill Day” in March 2018.
Approved by Congress earlier in the week, the bill provides $5 million for the Department of Defense Lupus Research Program and a $2 billion increase to the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), bringing that total to $39 billion for biomedical research. The NIH estimates that approximately $106 million will go to lupus research in 2019.
“The Lupus Research Alliance leadership and advocates have worked for many years with Congress to initially fund lupus research through the Department of Defense peer-reviewed medical research program and most recently to establish dedicated funding through the Lupus Research Program,” commented Kenneth M. Farber, President and CEO of the organization. “Over the past three years, we are proud that our advocacy has secured a total of $15 million at the Department of Defense exclusively for lupus research. This budget is a tremendous win for the lupus community nationwide.”
The Lupus Research Alliance thanks the advocates who traveled to DC in March to share their stories with members of Congress, and those nationwide who supported them from home with phone calls, emails and social media. Accounts of debilitating symptoms, how many pills taken daily, time out of work and school, financial challenges – all these stories helped legislators appreciate why new treatments and a cure are so desperately needed and why federal funding for research is absolutely critical.
We thank the Congressional Lupus Caucus for leading the effort to establish the Lupus Research Program at the Department of Defense. In particular, we commend the leadership of the Caucus Co-chairs: Reps. Tom Rooney (R-FL), William Keating (D-MA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).
The Lupus Research Alliance is also grateful to the Senate and House appropriations leadership for their dedication to biomedical research and would specifically like to thank Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Ranking Member Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) for supporting lupus research.
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of people with lupus are women; lupus most often strikes during the childbearing years of 15-45. African Americans, Latin Americans, Asians and Native Americans are two to three times at greater risk than Caucasians. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that can attack any part of the body including the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.
About the Lupus Research Alliance
The Lupus Research Alliance aims to transform treatment while advancing toward a cure by funding the most innovative lupus research in the world. The organization’s stringent peer review grant process fosters diverse scientific talent who are driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus. Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors funds all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.