The Special Diabetes Program (SDP) supports research to prevent, treat, and cure type 1 diabetes and its complications and type 2 diabetes treatment and prevention strategies for American Indian and Alaska Native populations. The SDP expired on October 1 and Congress is currently reviewing legislation to reauthorize the program. At issue is how to pay for it. One option proposed in the House of Representatives is to cut funds for the Public Health and Prevention Fund—which is used by the CDC for a number of important programs.
The PES Board and Advocacy Committee believe that the SDP is a valuable program that merits renewal of funding without jeopardizing other critically important prevention and public programs. The Endocrine Society and the ADA have been advocating for the renewal of the program and have wide-ranging, bi-partisan support—356 House Members and 75 Senators signed onto a letter of support.
Below is a sample letter that you can use in your communications to advocate for this program:
“I am writing today about the importance of reauthorizing the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), which expired on September 30.
As someone who provides clinical care to patients, who conducts diabetes research, and who has benefited from the program, I believe that it is critical that Congress pass legislation to reauthorize the program. The SDP program has enabled scientists to make significant advances in prevention and treatments of diabetes, including the development of the artificial pancreas and other important technologies. In turn, these advances have provided individuals affected by diabetes, improved therapies with better health outcomes and an improved quality of life.
However, this research is now in jeopardy if Congress does not act.
As you may know, the SDP has far-reaching, bi-partisan support—75 Senators and 356 Representatives signed onto letters of support. The SDP program funding expired October 1, having failed reauthorization. This halted funding for new grants and suspended existing grant renewals. The House Energy and Commerce committee proposed including the reauthorization of the program in Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), however, the committee is considering drastically cutting the Public Health and Prevention Fund to pay for the extension of the SDP and other programs.
The SDP needs to be reauthorized immediately without jeopardizing other critically important prevention and public programs.
I hope that you appreciate the importance of this issue and that you will act accordingly. Ongoing research and prevention programs are at great risk following expiration of the SDP program, so it is critical that we reauthorize the SDP to insure that the momentum we have achieved in diabetes research will be maintained. This is critical to improving diabetes care and will ultimately lead to prevention and a cure.
Please contact me if I can provide additional information regarding the critical importance of the SDP.”