We have great news to share from Washington, D.C. Today, the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies released report language under the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) that includes the following passage written by the Celiac Disease Foundation:

Celiac Disease—The Committee encourages NIH to devote sufficient, focused research to the study of celiac disease, including the autoimmune causation underpinning the affliction. Today, the only known treatment for this disease is a gluten-free diet; but, recent public and private sector research has revealed that such a “treatment” is insufficient for many who suffer from celiac disease. Therefore, the Committee urges NIAID to support new research efforts toward causation and ultimately, a cure of this disease. NIAID is encouraged to coordinate with other Institutes and Centers as appropriate and to submit its plan for coordination and execution of this research to the Committee on Appropriations no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act.

To the best of anyone’s knowledge, this is the first time celiac disease has been included in a report to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The report language comes as a direct result of my testimony before the Subcommittee last month and the efforts of our team in Washington, D.C., led by Foundation Policy Advisor Ben Nicholson. What we are requesting of the NIH, and what the Committee agreed to include in its report, is the development of a first-ever NIH comprehensive plan to find treatments and a cure for celiac disease.

The appropriation bill that this report language accompanies is not yet law. It has to go through the balance of the Congressional appropriations process and be signed by the White House. This is a clear directive to NIH leadership, however, that this Subcommittee wants the NIH to confront celiac disease with the urgency and research funding it deserves. This is great news for patients, caregivers, and researchers. This is great news for all of us.

The Celiac Disease Foundation is fully committed to bringing the voice of the celiac disease community to Washington, D.C. We know that effective advocacy is critical to our efforts to accelerate the search for treatments and a cure. Thank you for sharing your stories – they worked.

To Our Health,

Marilyn G. Geller
Chief Executive Officer

NIH Directed to Submit a Plan to Congress for Celiac Disease Research