Special Diabetes Program

One Voice Speaking Up for Special Diabetes Program (SDP) Renewal

In April 2015, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015” (H.R. 2), including a two-year extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP). The SDP was fully funded at $150 million per year. Previously, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a two-year extension of the SDP, as part of its own strongly bipartisan “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015” (or H.R. 2). And shortly after, the President signed this legislative vehicle into law [Public Law 114-10].

With this timely two-year renewal, SDP-funded researchers will be able to continue promising clinical trials that are leading to better treatments, therapies and—ultimately—a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D). This new funding for the SDP will now run through September 30, 2017, or the end of the U.S. Government’s fiscal year. We appreciate all that Congress is doing to help us create a world without T1D.

We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Congress and also to all of our JDRF Advocates for calling upon your Federal lawmakers—and letting them know just how important this program is to you and to the future of everyone with T1D.

But we do need your help in saying Thanks! Please take a few minutes to:

  1. Thank your Senators for supporting this two-year renewal of the SDP.
  2. Thank your Representatives for his or her support for two-year renewal.

Why SDP renewal is essential

Congress created the SDP back in 1997, after its Diabetes Research Working Group, led by the bipartisan tandem of U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (GA) and Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles (NC), reported serious limitations in diabetes research—for T1D in particular—largely due to inadequate funding. The SDP consists of two initiatives: one to advance T1D research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and the other to fund treatment, education and prevention programs for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, who are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes.

Since its inception, the SDP has shown tangible results by helping scientists make significant advances in cure therapies, prevention studies and treatments—including artificial pancreas technology and groundbreaking advances in vision improvement among people with diabetic eye disease. The program is funded at $150 million per year—making it an essential component of the overall Federal investment in diabetes research. The SDP demonstrates a real return on investment annually, making it a traditionally popularly supported program across the aisle.

However, multiple-year funding—such as the most recent two-year renewal—is essential to continuing large-scale trials, proactively planning next steps for research programs and allocating research dollars most effectively. That’s why we must continue to work to ensure that the SDP is consistently renewed by the Congress.

Please remember to take action!

All you have to do is:

  1. Thank the Senate for supporting this two-year renewal of the SDP
  2. Thank the House for supporting the two-year renewal of the SDP
  3. Share this page with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers and link to our pages on your favorite social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

If you haven’t done so already, please sign up to be a JDRF Advocate. Your voice will help us make a difference in the fight to help turn Type One into Type None.