JDRF Urges Congress to Fund Diabetes Research

On June 4, JDRF’s President & CEO Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce, Health Subcommittee about JDRF’s top legislative priority — securing a long-term renewal of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) before it expires at the end of September.

During the hearing, Dr. Kowalski told Congress about the type 1 diabetes (T1D) research that SDP funds across the country. “We are grateful for the leadership of this committee on both sides of the aisle over the years and the strong bipartisan support in Congress for the Special Diabetes Program or SDP,” stated Dr. Kowalski. “By supporting the SDP, you have been the catalyst that has fundamentally changed diabetes management, diabetes care, and have brought us ever closer to cures.”

In addition, he urged lawmakers to provide an increase in funding to $200 million per year, and a five-year renewal for the SDP and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, which is a sister program that historically has been renewed in tandem with the SDP.

“Continued funding of the SDP, also known as the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research, will keep this research and this transformation going,” said Dr. Kowalski. “It will relieve the daily burden for people with T1D, reduce serious complications of the disease, and bring us steps closer to a world without this disease.”

Dr. Kowalski also expressed gratitude to the 68 U.S. Senators and the 378 U.S. Representatives who signed onto letters of support to Leadership, championed by Senate Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs, Senators Susan Collins and Jeanne Shaheen, and Congressional Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs, Representatives Diana DeGette and Tom Reed, for continued robust SDP funding. 

The SDP is making a real difference in the lives of people with T1D and has funded leaps forward in diabetes management, including artificial pancreas systems, research to prevent diabetes complications, and new science to understand what causes T1D so that we can ultimately stop the disease from developing.

To read JDRF’s full testimony, click here