Psoriasis Cure Now Taking Battle for Psoriasis Research Funding to Local Congressional Offices
KENSINGTON, Md., Aug. 3 -- With Congress in recess and Members of Congress in their home districts, “Psoriasis Cure Now,” a patient advocacy group based in our nation’s capital, is bringing its battle for more psoriasis research funding to local Congressional offices around the nation.
“Psoriasis patients tell me again and again that the most important issue to them is getting more research conducted on this incurable and challenging disease,” said Michael Paranzino, president of Psoriasis Cure Now and a psoriasis patient himself. “Psoriasis research has been severely shortchanged for over a decade, and this needs to be reversed.”
While federal medical research funding is up 99 percent since 1995, even after inflation, psoriasis research funding is down 8 percent. $6.5 million, or just one dollar per patient, is invested in psoriasis research annually, out of a total research budget of roughly $29 billion. Psoriasis Cure Now has made a briefing memo on this issue available here on its website for constituents to deliver to their lawmakers: http://www.psorcurenow.org/august.php . This summer, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have released strong language urging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to step up its research on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, to correct this shortfall.
“The first words a psoriasis patient should say when entering a Congressional office this month are ’thank you,’” Paranzino added. “Congress has made clear to NIH its deep interest in seeing psoriasis research expanded. But the battle is not over. Psoriasis research remains woefully underfunded, and every Member of Congress needs to be enlisted in this ongoing campaign to help the as many as 7.5 million Americans who have psoriasis.”
Psoriasis is an incurable, recurring disease of the immune system that can first strike at any age, causing dry, painful skin lesions that can crack, bleed and itch. Many people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, a chronic, progressive and debilitating inflammatory disease that often causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling, as well as bone damage. Another psoriasis advocacy group is also urging its supporters to visit Congressional offices this month, but the materials it is supplying to be left with Congressional offices do not include any reference to the psoriasis research funding crisis.
“Michael J. Fox would never meet with a lawmaker without discussing the need for more Parkinson’s research, and no psoriasis patient should ever meet with a Congressional office without seeking the lawmaker’s support for more psoriasis research funding,” Paranzino concluded. His Congressional testimony on the need for greater psoriasis research funding is available at http://www.psorcurenow.org/congress.php
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