Two-year $300 Million Extension of the Special Diabetes Program Allows for the Continuation of Promising Ongoing Clinical Trials

Washington, D.C., April 15, 2015 – The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation last night for a two-year extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP)—an initiative that accounts for roughly one-third of all Federally-funded type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in the United States. The decision comes on the heels of the strong bipartisan approval of the legislation on March 26 by the U.S. House of Representatives, and will extend SDP funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the current level of $150 million, per year, as part of the ‘Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015’ (H.R. 2). The President is expected to sign the legislation into law today.

“JDRF staff and our network of advocacy leaders and passionate volunteers all across the U.S. work tirelessly every day to create a world without type 1 diabetes,” said Derek Rapp, JDRF President and CEO. “This critical two-year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program continues important funding momentum for groundbreaking diabetes research—an investment that will not only improve the lives and health of millions of Americans, but will also save the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars in the long run. JDRF is so grateful for the bipartisan leadership shown across the aisle on both sides of the Capitol, and for the government’s understanding of how crucial it is to continue support for this initiative’s promising research which will help us achieve our vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.”

With a two-year renewal, SDP-funded researchers across the country will be able to continue promising clinical trials that are leading to improved therapies and ultimately a cure for T1D. T1D is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, rendering millions of Americans dependent on insulin injections and 24/7 vigilance to survive. The SDP has led to groundbreaking discoveries and new treatments that are improving the lives of people with both T1D and type 2 diabetes, demonstrating a strong return on the Federal investment.

This latest extension of the SDP, which will now run through September 2017, has been a top focus of advocacy efforts by JDRF, the largest charitable supporter of T1D research worldwide. Among other advances, SDP funding will help advance research to prevent the disease. Additionally, the SDP has accelerated the development of artificial pancreas technologies, led to the discovery of a drug that can help reverse vision loss in people with diabetic eye disease, and launched a trial to test a therapy with potential to prevent diabetic kidney failure.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, policy influence and a working plan to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the community. As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research over the past 45 years and is sponsoring scientific research in 17 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Christopher Rucas