Working Toward a Cure: New Psoriasis Bill Introduced in Congress
For those of us living with psoriasis, or who have a loved one with this disease, there’s exciting news coming out of Washington, D.C. about efforts to find a cure.
The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Research, Cure, and Care Act of 2011 (PPARCCA), spearheaded by the National Psoriasis Foundation and its advocates, was introduced in Congress just last week. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.-6th) introduced it in the House of Representatives with the support of Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas-20th).
Why is this bill so significant? It sheds light on the seriousness of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and advances the nation’s efforts to find cures for these diseases.
If passed, the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Research, Cure, and Care Act of 2011 will:
- Secure $1.5 million a year (2012-2017) to continue the psoriasis data collection project.
PPARCCA calls for a six-year investment toward understanding the public health impacts of psoriatic disease. The project began with $1.5 million allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by Congress in 2009. CDC researchers have completed the first phase of the project. Without continued funding, this initial investment will be lost.
- NPF and others are bringing scientists from different disciplines together to study the connections between psoriatic disease and other serious health conditions. (One of my recent posts talked about associated health risks; check it out here)
PPARCCA calls on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to join these efforts-forming a strong public-private partnership to find a cure.
What we can do: contact our legislators and ask them for their support. The National Psoriasis Foundation provides a sample letter and more information to help you contact your members of Congress about PPARCCA. Learn more here.
If you’d like to view a summary of the bill, go here.
Heather wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Psoriasis.