Newswise – WASHINGTON –The Endocrine Society commends Congress for approving the first funding increase for the Special Diabetes Program in two decades.

The U.S. Senate voted Friday to extend the program, which supports both diabetes care and research into type 1 diabetes, through the end of 2024. This is part of the six-bill package to fund several federal agencies. President Biden is expected to sign the bills.

Congress created the Special Diabetes Program in 1997 to advance research in type 1 diabetes and address the disproportionate burden of type 2 diabetes among Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The program consists of two components:

  • Type 1 diabetes research managed by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Support prevention, education and treatment programs for Indigenous communities nationwide, administered by the Indian Health Service.

The extension passed by Congress will fund the program at $160 million per program per year through the end of 2024, an increase of $10 million for each component. The program has not received an increase in funding since fiscal year 2004.

Nationwide, more than 38 million people suffer from diabetes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Indians and Alaska Natives are nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than white adults.

According to the CDC, more than 1.7 million adults and 304,000 children and adolescents have type 1 diabetes.

The type 1 diabetes research component of the program has advanced our understanding and treatment of this disease. The research has contributed to the development of the first drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration that can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, the first cell therapy to treat adults with type 1 diabetes and recurrent episodes dangerously low blood sugar level. and several artificial pancreas systems designed to help individuals achieve better blood sugar control.

The Endocrine Society is a leader in the diabetes community advocating for reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program. We will continue to advocate for long-term reauthorization of this critically important program.

We applaud the bipartisan co-chairs of the Diabetes Caucus, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), for their leadership in ensuring increased funding for the dedicated diabetes program.

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Endocrinologists are at the heart of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists dedicated to hormone research and physicians caring for people with hormone-related diseases.

The society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the society and the field of endocrinology, visit our website at Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety And @EndoMedia.

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