JDRF Government Days

On March 11th, 2014, 190 JDRF advocates from across the country traveled to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to meet with their legislators to request a 5-year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).

The SDP funds medical research to find better treatments and ultimately a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The SDP is set to expire in September 2013, and if it is not renewed 150 million dollars per year towards research to end Type 1 will be lost.

The JDRF Government Days included an inspiring speech by Jeffrey Brewer, President and CEO of JDRF, called “JDRF: Turning Type One into Type None” in which he detailed plans for a pathway to the cure, including discovery research, clinical development, regulatory, reimbursement, and delivery to patients, collectively known as the pipeline.

JDRF has over $530 million currently invested in Type 1 research projects around the world (in 17 countries, and this includes more than 50 human clinical trials). The research focuses on six key areas: the artificial pancreas, treating and reducing complications, beta cell encapsulation, prevention, restoration of beta cell function, and smart insulin.

Richard Insel, MD, JDRF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Judith Fradkin, MD, Director, Division of Diabetes at the National Institutes of Health, and David Wheadon, MD, JDRF’s Executive Vice President of Research and Advocacy also spoke on the progress of the Special Diabetes Program’s research, citing a new treatment to restore vision loss from diabetic macular edema via VEGF inhibition.

While JDRF contributed 106 million dollars to research in 2013 (over 1.8 billion dollars since its founding in 1970), if the SDP is not renewed, JDRF cannot make up the gap. Studies like the TEDDY study (100% SDP supported), TrialNet (67% SDP supported), the Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium (98% SDP supported), the Beta Cell Biology Consortium (75% SDP supported), the Diabetes Research in Children Network (67% SDP supported), the Diabetic Complications Consortium (59% SDP supported), and the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (26% SDP supported) will lose their funding.

To support JDRF’s efforts to get the SPD renewed, click here to learn more and sign up to be an advocate.

To act now to email your members of congress to urge them to support a renewal of the SPD, click here.

To learn more about the Special Diabetes Program, click here.

To read about the SDP supported research studies and the burden of diabetes on society, read this JDRF brochure for more information.

Now that’s juicy!