Researchers and patients unite on Capitol Hill for psoriatic disease funding and access to care
In a two-day trip to Washington, D.C. in late April, a group of nine psoriatic disease researchers and nine people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis met with 50 members of Congress and their staff from 13 states to campaign for continued federal support of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis research and better access to treatments.
The group asked Congress to support $1.2 million in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement the first psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis public health agenda, which would make significant advances toward understanding psoriatic diseases and improving treatment, management and quality of life. They also urged lawmakers to cosponsor the Patients' Access to Treatment Act (PATA) to eliminate financial barriers such as high copayments and ensure that people with chronic diseases have access to needed prescription drugs.
Among the Capitol Hill meetings were the offices of House and Senate leadership, including Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Reps. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. The group discussed the impact of psoriasis and its associated health risks, or comorbidities, and the future directions of psoriasis research and treatment.
Additionally, the delegation:
- Presented Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, with Psoriasis Champion awards for their advocacy and leadership on behalf of the psoriasis community during multiple congresses.
- Met with 12 leaders from five different institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md.—the primary agency of the U.S. government responsible for biomedical and health-related research—to discuss advancing psoriatic disease research.
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May 14, 2013