I’m so pleased to share good news as we begin this new year; a year that promises to be full of robust research, advocacy, and education efforts on behalf of our patient community.
After two years of concerted advocacy efforts to educate policymakers about the need to fund research for celiac disease with U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) resources, for the first time ever, access for funding for celiac disease research is being made available through the U.S. DOD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program [DOD-CDMRP] Peer Review Medical Research Listing.
This is tremendous news for our community, as it invites researchers to submit funding applications for celiac disease to the Department of Defense – making available a significant new pool of federal research dollars to identify treatments and a cure for celiac disease.
The DOD-CDMRP describes its Peer Review Medical Research Program (PRMRP) this way:
The PRMRP is committed to supporting research that has the potential to profoundly impact the development and implementation of medical devices, drugs, and clinical guidance that will enhance the precision and efficacy of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment across a wide range of disciplines including autoimmune diseases and immunology…
This program is “Congressionally Directed,” and the list of diseases that are included in the research pool are decided by Congress with the “underlying goal of enhancing the health, care, and well-being of military Service Members, Veterans, retirees, and their family members.”
Along with our outreach to Congress, we have also partnered with the Defense Research Health Consortium (DHRC) to advance this priority. In addition to lobbying key Members of Congress to support adding celiac disease to the relatively short PRMRP list, in 2022 the Foundation submitted to Congress a white paper that made a compelling case for $12 million in PRMRP funding for celiac disease research, and we are gratified to have achieved our goal in this relatively short timeframe. For more information about the CDMRP process, here is a short primer Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Funding for FY2023.
Mark Vieth, coordinator of the DHRC, and one of our partners in these efforts, said: “After a few years of advocacy, Congress responded to the call from the celiac disease community that this research should be included in the diverse portfolio funded by the Department of Defense. We are proud to have the Celiac Disease Foundation as a member of our consortium and appreciate all the hard work they do to protect and grow the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.” We are grateful to our partners for their support of our shared mission.
Many remarkable therapies for other diseases have emerged from PRMRP research. We are hopeful that treatment options – and a cure – for celiac disease will soon join them. We are so grateful to our tireless patient advocates, our team in Washington, DC, including our partners at DHRC, our staff – and you – for your support. Your generous, tax-deductible gifts make these victories possible.
2023 is off to a very promising start, and I look forward to sharing more good news with you throughout the year.
To Our Health,
Marilyn G. Geller