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JDRF Children’s Congress Seeks to Renew $150-Million Special Diabetes Program

JDRF Children’s Congress Seeks to Renew $150-Million Special Diabetes Program

Children representing all 50 states and the District of Colombia advocate for renewed funding of the Special Diabetes Program

One of the most vocal advocates of type 1 diabetes research, JDRF, began its annual three-day Children’s Congress to seek renewed funding for the Special Diabetes Program.

The diverse group of type 1 diabetes advocates include 160 children affected by the disease, plus top-tier researchers and role models from the sports and entertainment industry.

“We have come to Washington to show our gratitude to Members of Congress for supporting [type 1 diabetes] research — and also to let them know in specific ways how their support is changing lives of people with [type 1 diabetes],” said Dr. Aaron J. Kowalski, President and CEO of JDRF, in a statement. “We are at a pivotal time right now in advancing life-changing therapies and cures, and long-term renewal of the [Special Diabetes Program] is essential to achieving our vision of a world without [type 1 diabetes].”

Tomorrow, a select group will testify in a Senate Hearing called “Redefining Reality: How the Special Diabetes Program is Changing the Lives of Americans with Type 1 Diabetes”. Among the group is National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Director, Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, and award-winning actor and type 1 diabetic, Victor Garber.

The group hopes Congress will renew the $150-million-dollar Special Diabetes Program which has supported diabetes treatment and prevention research since 1997. The program had received the same level of funding each year for the past 15 years, but the latest instalment will run its course come September 30, 2019.

Discovery of new disease-causing genes, beta cell regeneration strategies and the development of new blood sugar monitoring devices are among the achievements described in the latest progress report.

Before the Senate, JDRF also hopes to advocate for more diabetes research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the nonprofit receives substantial funding from its supporters, it will count on the efforts of regulators and healthcare organizations to continue advancing the pace of diabetes research.

Finally, they plan to urge Congress to lower prices of insulin, the hormone critical for type 1 diabetic patients to survive. The high cost of insulin has driven patients to administer smaller doses or skip prescription refills altogether, an unhealthy practice that adversely impacts their health. The JDRF supports the White House’s proposal to revoke rebates for pharmacy benefit managers, a rule that intends to discourage price hikes.

With renewed funding, scientists can accelerate the discovery of new therapies and prevention efforts to improve the lives of over one million people with this autoimmune disorder.