New Lupus Medical Research Program Included in Appropriations Bill H.R. 1301 Passed by House of Representatives

Demonstrates the Power of Patient Advocacy

Lupus patients will have a new medical research program at work for them in the future if Bill H.R. 1301 passed last night by the House of Representatives becomes law. The House approved the Fiscal 2017 Defense Appropriations Conference Report which designates $5 million for new peer-reviewed lupus research under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program operated by the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Ft. Detrick, MD. Next the bill must be considered by the U.S. Senate.

The new program is the direct result of over a decade of tireless outreach by Lupus Research Alliance advocates and others, demonstrating the evolution of persistent patient advocacy. In 2004, advocates from the organization first initiated and organized the effort to include lupus as one of many diseases eligible for funding through the Department of Defense Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program. Their consistent efforts successfully maintained this designation for lupus research each year, resulting in over $13 million dollars awarded to date.

Solid advocacy achievement now paves the way for the new bill that, if approved, will dedicate at least $5 million specifically for lupus research each year. With this appropriation, scientists nationwide will be able to advance work to drive discovery toward better treatments and a cure for lupus.

“Our advocates strongly supported the Congressional Lupus Caucus in this effort, sharing their lupus experience with legislators in person along with hundreds of emails and phone calls,” noted Margaret G. Dowd, co-president and co-CEO, Lupus Research Alliance.

“In addition to the Congressional Lupus Caucus leaders, we sincerely thank House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Defense Subcommittee Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) for their efforts to champion this effort,” noted Kenneth M. Farber, Lupus Research Alliance co-president and co-CEO.