The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) fuel scientific discovery by funding high impact research not sponsored by other federal agencies. While the CDMRP funds research to protect those who serve in our Armed Forces, military families, veterans, and civilian populations from a wide range of medical conditions and health challenges, many of these programs are also aimed at preparedness and response to global pandemics.
Last week, the Celiac Disease Foundation, as part of The Defense Health Research Consortium – a collection of patient advocacy organizations, veterans’ organizations, and research advocacy groups – co-signed a letter to committee Chairs and Ranking Members of House and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittees requesting that the budget for CDMRP receive a 5% increase in FY2023. An increase in funding is particularly vital this year to mitigate the impact of inflation on the purchasing power of individual CDMRP programs, particularly those that have not had a funding increase in several years.
In the last two CDMRP funding requests, the Celiac Disease Foundation has advocated for the inclusion of language to support celiac disease research. Demographics support the estimate that thousands of active, Guard, and Reserve service members are currently suffering from celiac disease or are predisposed to developing the disease, making them eligible for service-connected disability. Based upon TRICARE covered lives, a healthcare program for service members, it is estimated that an additional 77,000 retirees and family members may also suffer from celiac disease.
While neither of the requests to include celiac disease in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs have yet been funded by the Department of Defense, we will continue to fight on behalf of our patient community to secure CDMRP research funds for celiac disease.
Interested in becoming a Celiac Disease Foundation State Advocacy Ambassador? Visit iAdvocate to learn more and become a part of our nationwide network of celiac advocates.