I’m meeting with my congressman on Monday morning as part of a larger group sponsored by JDRF to ask for renewal of the Special Diabetes Program here in the USA.
The SDP is funded at 150 million dollars per year. Current funding is in place through September 2014, one year from now.
You might think, “Wow, 150 million? That’s a lot of money”. Actually, it isn’t. Want to know what a lot of money really is?
– The annual cost of diabetes to the American economy is 245 billion dollars. 2-4-5 Billion.
– Nearly one third of the annual Medicare budget for older Americans is spent on People With Diabetes.
On the other hand, the $150 million spent on the Special Diabetes Program has helped to kick start and then continue research toward advanced drugs and therapies, better technology, and yes, research toward a cure for diabetes. Artificial Pancreas research and development has been helped along by the SDP, and it’s a game-changer for all PWDs if we (ourselves and Congress) help to get it across the finish line to approval and practical application. Advances in eye care and BG management have also become a reality thanks to the SDP.
Since the program is funded for the next year, why should we worry about getting renewal now? Because researchers have to plan and schedule clinical trials and other elements of their research and development well in advance. If they don’t know what will happen with regard to the Special Diabetes Program, they may hesitate before starting critical phases of their trials. Or they may delay starting trials at all. As you know, every minute we delay is another minute we have to wait for the next breakthrough in therapy, drugs, or signs toward a cure. We shouldn’t have to wait. Just ask a parent who is caring for their child with diabetes. They’ll tell you: We’ve been waiting long enough.
If you have the opportunity, help JDRF advocate for continued funding of the Special Diabetes Program. More information is available about the SDP by clicking here.
You can read more about JDRF initiatives and start getting involved yourself by clicking here.