Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Supports Goals of 2010 National Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week
PFF Call on Patients, Families, and Supporters to Contact Congress and Urge Support for S. 3703 and H.R. 1079
CHICAGO, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) today expressed its support for the 2010 National Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week activities, to be held from September 11-18, 2010 in Washington D.C. National PF Week has been held annually since 2003, and seeks to raises awareness of pulmonary fibrosis with Members of Congress and their staffs, as well as local and national media.
"This is a critically important year for the patients, families, caregivers, and physicians affiliated with the PFF to actively participate in our advocacy efforts during Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week", said Daniel Rose, MD, President of the PFF. "The introduction of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (PFREA, or S. 3703) in the U.S. Senate by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) is an important step towards seeking new understanding of pulmonary fibrosis and find new treatments for this severe disease by establishing the first national patient registry."
A companion Act (H.R. 1079) was introduced in the House of Representatives this year by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Mike Castle (R-DE). H.R. 1079 has gained significant bi-partisan support, and currently has 136 bipartisan co-sponsors.
Both Houses of Congress have previously passed legislation expressing the need for increased attention and research funding in pulmonary fibrosis. Concurrent resolutions H. Con. Res. 182 (House) and Sen. Con. Res. 42 (Senate) were passed during the 108th Congress in 2007. The PFREA would be the first legislation of its kind to specifically authorize funding to achieve the goals of each House's concurrent resolution.
"Now is the time for our membership to take action on this important legislation," said Leanne Storch, Executive Director of the PFF. "The simple act of calling or emailing your Member of Congress to ask for their support of S. 3703 and H.R. 1079 can have a substantial impact on the success of this Bill, while supporting the goals of PF Awareness Week."
Both bills are in need of new co-sponsors to ensure passage in the current session of Congress, which ends on October 8, 2010.
The PFF is asking every PF patient, family member, or others who have been impacted by pulmonary fibrosis to help secure additional co-sponsors of the PFREA by contacting both their Representative and Senator in the coming weeks. Complete information on this advocacy effort is available on the home page of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation at www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org. Interested advocates without internet access can contact the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to your representative's office, or contact the PFF directly at 888-PFF-ORG1 (888-733-6741) to learn how to contact their Senator or Representative.
About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (S.3703, H.R. 1079)
The PFREA authorizes $16 million to establish the first national patient registry for pulmonary fibrosis (PF), establish a national PF advisory board, and call for a national PF education and awareness plan for this deadly disease. The PFREA would also amend the Public Health Service Act to encourage the National Institutes of Health to expand, intensify, and coordinate the activities of the Institute with respect to research on PF, as appropriate. The PFREA was previously introduced in the United States House of Representatives (H.R. 1079) in 2008 and 2009 by Representatives Brian Baird (D-WA) and Michael Castle (R-DE). The House bill currently has 136 bi-partisan co-sponsors (including 96 Democrats and 40 Republicans). Action on the House bill is pending in the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health.
About Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)
According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), PF is a condition in which over a period of time the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain and other organs don't get the oxygen they need. In some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most cases, there is not a known cause. When there is no known etiology for the fibrosis (and certain pathologic criteria are met) the disease is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or PF. PF affects approximately 200,000 Americans and an estimated 40,000 Americans pass away from PF each year.
About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to find a cure for pulmonary fibrosis (PF) by funding research, advocating for pulmonary fibrosis issues, promoting disease awareness, and providing a compassionate environment for supporting patients and their loved ones. We aim to accomplish this by working with the medical community to drive new research, increase research funding, by representing the needs of our constituents in Washington DC through national advocacy, and by developing caring relationships with patients and their families throughout the course of their disease. Since the inception of the Foundation, it has funded or is committed to fund $3,000,000 in basic research. For more information please visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call (888) 733-6741.
Contact: Dolly Kervitsky, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation,