Our continual success depends on dedicated and outspoken leaders — those whose vision, energy, and initiative shape public policy at a national level. JDRF’s Advocacy program makes it easier than ever to join the fight against T1D, and to secure strong support for essential legislative objectives. As an Advocate, you’ll be the voice of the T1D community, and your work carries the capacity to shape millions of lives.
One of our Advocacy agenda’s most critical concentrations is the Special Diabetes Program, which allocates $150 million annually to T1D research through the National Institutes of Health. Since 1997, it has provided nearly $2.5 billion to advance medical innovations, technologies, and treatments. JDRF Advocates work to preserve this vital funding by campaigning for continuous congressional support — and with their leadership, the SDP has maintained strong bipartisan approval over the past several years.
Another major aspect of Advocacy involves collaborating with the FDA to ensure that new T1D treatments are safe and effective. JDRF distributes important data, research, and information, allowing governmental health organizations to examine new therapies clearly and thoroughly. For example, in 2012, JDRF helped the FDA establish appropriate regulations for the new artificial pancreas system — and with rapid technological advancement, our Advocates will be vital to the success of this innovative treatment. Furthermore, JDRF regularly informs FDA staff of the latest replacement therapies, providing information on the progress of beta cell encapsulation techniques. As a result, the FDA approved the first clinical trials of one such product in 2014, with more advanced models expected in the coming years.
Advocates realize the importance of accessibility within the T1D community, and they accordingly work to ensure that coverage and treatments are available to all T1D’s. Their mission is based primarily on coverage, affordability, and choice — a set of healthcare principles that define their policy objectives. JDRF won a notable victory in January 2017 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services granted Medicare coverage for the continuous glucose monitor (CGM). In similar terms, JDRF strongly pursues healthcare plans that include low out-of-pocket costs for insulin and other vital diabetes supplies. In December 2016, the Advocacy program joined more than 70 other groups in contacting the White House and Congress in support of protections for pre-existing conditions.
We invite you to join us! As an Advocate, you’ll receive frequent updates and alerts on the issues that matter most to you — and you’ll also find a variety of opportunities to support the T1D community. This program makes it easy to contact local representatives, meet with new members of Congress, and sign influential petitions. If you’re passionate about leading the nation toward a cure, consider joining JDRF Advocacy! With your help, we can change the national narrative; with your voice, we can truly make a difference. Click here to sign up today!
Written by: Lorena Bergstrom