SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

March 02, 2010 19:23 ET

American Diabetes Association Applauds Senate's Efforts to Reauthorize Special Diabetes Programs

Legislation Would Provide Increased Funding for Type 1 Diabetes Research and Native American Programs

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - March 2, 2010) - The American Diabetes Association applauds today's introduction of Special Diabetes Program legislation in the U.S. Senate. The bill (S. 3058) would reauthorize the Special Diabetes Type 1 Program and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians for 5 years. Each program would receive $200 million per year.

Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), Chair of the Indian Affairs Committee, and Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Co-Chair of the Diabetes Caucus, are the lead sponsors on the bill.

"This legislation would provide crucial funding for diabetes research, prevention and treatment programs," commented Nash M. Childs, PE, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association. "We thank Senator Dorgan and Senator Collins for their leadership in working to ensure that programs to advance type 1 diabetes research and to prevent and treat diabetes among American Indian and Native Alaskan populations continue."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that type 1 diabetes affects 1.18-2.36 million children and adults in the United States. Nearly 17 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have diabetes, the highest prevalence among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups.

The Special Diabetes Type 1 Program has led to important advances in many areas of type 1 diabetes research. Showing an excellent return on federal investment, this research has yielded advances in drug therapies and in halting or reversing diabetic complications. The Special Diabetes Program for Indians has given Indian health programs and tribal communities critical resources and tools to both prevent and treat diabetes. It funds nearly 400 community-directed programs in nearly all federal recognized tribes in 35 states, allowing local tribes and health programs to set priorities that meet the needs of their people.

The legislation was introduced with strong bi-partisan support. The other original co-sponsors of the Senate bill are Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT),Dan Inouye (D-HI), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Similar legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last September by Congressional Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), and the Congressional Native American Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI). Rep. Zack Space (D-OH), a member of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, joined the bill as an original co-sponsor as well.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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