Writer: Brandy Gresock and The Pact
If you have been diagnosed with Gastroparesis, or any other digestive motility disorder, then you have probably noticed that the treatments in the US are slim to none. How amazing would it be if there were government bills passed to increase awareness and research?
On February 26, 2013, Congressman James Sensenbrenner (Republican, from Wisconsin) and Congressman James Moran (Democrat, from Virginia) co-sponsored such a bill. It was called the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2013, also called FGIMD 2013, or HR 842. In short, the bill would accomplish the following:
• Increase national awareness of the severity, prevalence, and cost of digestive motility disease by raising attention towards disease.
• Underscore the economic costs of these diseases, which currently cost the US at least $30 billion.
• Demand that the Secretary of Health and Human Services develops an educational program that increases the understanding and recognition of GI motility disease.
• Demand that the National Institutes of Health expand basic and clinical research.
• Demand that the Food and Drug Administration speed up their efforts to improve treatment options.
Unfortunately, this bill died in the 113th Congress. Its predecessor in the 112th Congress, HR 2239, also perished. In order to get this bill passed, it needs to be re-introduced into the 114th Congress. Nancy Norton, from the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, indicated that the bill should be reintroduced by the end of February 2015.
So what can we, the G-PACT community, do about this? For now, all we can do is wait patiently. Of course, if the bill is re-introduced and approved, we will be sure to update you and let you know what we can do next.
A more in-depth article will follow shortly once the new bill number has been assigned and the bill is back to life! Until then we need to save our writing and campaigning energies for when it is back up and actively on the senate floor.