Jul. 10, 2015

HOUSE PASSES FOUNDATION-SUPPORTED LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ACCELERATE DEVELOPMENT OF LUPUS TREATMENTS

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation that has the potential to improve the drug development process and bring new and vital treatments forward for people with chronic diseases like lupus.

Only one drug has ever been developed specifically to treat lupus and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. For the estimated 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide living with a form of lupus, one drug will never be enough to treat this cruel and mysterious disease.

The 21st Century Cures Act, spearheaded by Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), provides an additional $8.75 billion in funding to the National Institutes of Health; establishes a public-private partnership to collect data and improve our understanding of diseases; supports patient-focused drug development; and modernizes the design of clinical trials and their review process.

Lupus Foundation of America activists played a vital role in the passage of this legislation. Last month, as part of the Foundation’s National Lupus Advocacy Summit, nearly 200 lupus activists from across the country visited Capitol Hill in June and thousands more joined them virtually to urge members of Congress to support the bill.

Following the Summit, the Foundation hosted a conversation about the legislation during our National Advocacy Awards Dinner featuring Congressman Upton; Dr. Francis S. Collins, National Institutes of Health Director; Mary Woolley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Research!America; John J. Castellani, President & Chief Executive Officer Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; and Dr. Susan M. Manzi, Chair, Department of Medicine Allegheny Health Network. We also honored Congressman Upton with the Foundation’s Congressional Champion Award.

About Lupus
Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive and can be fatal, yet research on lupus has not kept pace with research for other diseases of similar scope and devastation. For more information, visit lfaheartland.org.

About the Lupus Foundation of America
The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus, one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by lupus.