The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee today passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill, which includes $5 million in funding for the Lupus Research Program at the DoD in 2019.
The Committee’s action demonstrates the power of lupus advocates who throughout the year requested continued funding of the DoD program, including during the Lupus Foundation of America’s National Advocacy Summit in March.
The bill now heads to the full House of Representatives for a vote and the Senate Appropriations Committee still must act on its version of the legislation. If enacted into law, the bill would bring the three-year funding total for the Lupus Research Program to $15 million, and increase the DoD’s total commitment to lupus research to over $36 million.
The DoD’s Lupus Research Program aims to fund research that will advance the field, and lead to breakthroughs in the causes of lupus, its diagnosis and the development of new medicines to prevent and treat the disease.
The Lupus Foundation of America led the work toward securing a lupus-specific program at the DoD beginning in 2003, and ultimately with the help of its advocates worked with Congress to establish the program in 2017. Take a look at a historical timeline of the Foundation’s advocacy to establish the Lupus Research Program