Academy Urges Congress to Re-Authorize Special Diabetes Program

10/04/2017 - The Academy, along with several other organizations, submitted a joint letter to the Senate Finance Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, which urged them to re-authorize the Special Diabetes Program. The SDP is an "appropriation for research on the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes that the [National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases] administers on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services."

Joint Letter Senate Finance and Energy and Commerce Committees

Below is the contents of the joint letter signed by the Academy and sent to the chairmen of the aforementioned committees.

On behalf of the 114 million Americans living with or at risk for diabetes, the undersigned organizations are grateful for your leadership and steadfast commitment to the Special Diabetes Program. As you work to reauthorize the Children’s Health insurance Program, we urge you and your colleagues to approve a long-term renewal of both components of SDP. Critical research towards a cure for type 1 diabetes and programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives are in jeopardy the longer a renewal is delayed. These programs have wide bipartisan support—in 2016 356 House Members and 75 Senators signed letters endorsing the reauthorization of both the Special Statutory Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research (SDP-type 1) and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).

As you know, SDP-type 1 funds type 1 diabetes research at the National Institutes of Health, which has accelerated our understanding of how to improve outcomes for people with type 1 diabetes. This dedicated funding has yielded better treatments and tangible progress towards a cure for type 1 diabetes. SDPI supports treatment and prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native communities impacted by type 2 diabetes at a rate of 15.1%, prevalence higher than any other minority population in the United States. SDPI has resulted in a 54% reduction in kidney failure rates among Native American populations between 1996 and 2013.

These programs, which have a proven track record of success, are currently funded at $150 million per program per year. Without an immediate, sustained investment by Congress for both components of the SDP, promising research and prevention programs will be compromised. Our organizations ask you to take immediate steps to provide a multi-year renewal of the SDP.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
American Diabetes Association
National Indian Health Board
The Endocrine Society

Download the individual letters to the Senate Finance Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee.