Diabetes in the U.S.
Diabetes is growing rapidly among all populations in the United States. Today, more than 26 million Americans live with diabetes – quadruple the number from just 30 years ago. Today, the annual cost of diabetes to the U.S. economy is approximately $245 billion, and it is estimated that 1 in 3 American children born in 2000 are likely to develop some form of diabetes in their lifetime. Additionally, there was a 23% increase in the prevalence of T1D in people under age 20 between 2001-2009.
What is the Special Diabetes Program (SDP)?
In recognition of this alarming trend, Congress formed the Diabetes Research Working Group in 1997, which reported serious limitations in diabetes research – for type 1 diabetes (T1D) in particular – largely due to inadequate funding. In light of the working group’s report, Congress created the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), a program made up of two parts: one to advance T1D research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the other to fund treatment, education, and prevention programs for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, who are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes.
As you may know, JDRF was delighted to help secure a one-year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) that was included in the ‘American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012’ legislation, which passed at the end of the last Congress.
Many Members of Congress from both parties helped us to pass this renewal of the SDP during the last Congress. We ask that you please take a moment today to simply SAY THANK YOU – let them know that you appreciate the renewal of the SDP.
Real Progress, Real Results
Since inception, the SDP has demonstrated tangible results. The program has enabled scientists to make significant advances in cure therapies, prevention studies and treatment improvements (including the Artificial Pancreas Project and groundbreaking advances in vision improvement among people with diabetic eye disease), and is an essential component of federal investment in diabetes research. The SDP is funded at $150 million per year, and is currently operational until September 2014, with the one-year renewal put in place at the end of the 112th Congress. However, multi-year funding must be renewed in the future to continue large-scale trials, proactively plan next steps to maximize research opportunities, and to most effectively allocate research dollars without interruption.
Congressional Support for SDP
Last year, 72 Senators and 272 House Members signed SDP support letters circulated by Senate and House Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO). Thanks to these leaders, JDRF advocates, and stalwart friends of the T1D community, the SDP renewal campaign enjoys strong bipartisan support. JDRF thanked these congressional supporters of the SDP with an official release.
Don’t Stop Now – Renew the SDP
Renewal of the SDP is JDRF’s top federal legislative priority. This program has enjoyed strong bipartisan support from Congress since its inception. The SDP has proven itself to be worthy of federal investment as it is improving the lives of those who have diabetes, and will help reduce healthcare costs for our country in the long-term. This critical program provides nearly 35% of the publicly-funded type 1 diabetes research at NIH. Without a timely multi-year renewal of the program, clinical trials will slow down or halt and JDRF will not be able to fill the gap.
To learn more about the importance of renewing the SDP, please read our SDP brochure and our individual fact sheets below:
- The Special Diabetes Program Brochure
- A Federal Program that Works
- Highlights from NIH Report
- Why Renew Now
- Preventing Kidney Disease
- Helping Patients Beyond T1D
- Economic Benefits
- Potential Savings to Medicare
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Can I Do as an Advocate?
Sign-up to be an advocate if you aren’t already, and take action when you see our alerts. Your voice will help make a difference. If you would like others to learn more about the SDP, please share this page with your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers, and link to our pages on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. For further updates, please check back with us often at this advocacy page.
The first session of this 113th Congress will again be critical, as we need the program to be renewed for multiple years in order for ground-breaking research to continue, and for critical advancements to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes to be made. Thank you in advance from JDRF Advocacy for calling upon your federal legislators – and letting them know just how important this program is to you, and to the future of all those with T1D.