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Psoriasis advocates and researchers ask Congress to continue federal psoriasis funding

NPF delegation of  advocates, researchers and NPF staff at NIAMS, the federal agency 
that supports research into psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

In mid-March 2012, nearly 30 National Psoriasis Foundation advocates, researchers and staff traveled to Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to continue funding the collection of psoriasis data at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The funding would allow the CDC to examine prevalence rate, age of onset, the natural history of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and associated health risks, among other factors—information that could lead to new treatments and a cure for the diseases.

California advocates and researchers talked with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) about the importance of psoriasis fundingDelegations from California, Illinois, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin took this important message to 25 Senate and 34 House of Representatives offices.

During the visit, longtime psoriasis champions Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.,20th) and Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.,16th) circulated a letter to their House colleagues in support of the group’s request. Fourteen members of Congress, including the two representatives, signed their support. In addition, Reps. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.,4th) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.,1st) co-sponsored the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Research, Cure, and Care Act (PPARCCA), legislation currently being considered by Congress.

Joining the psoriasis advocates were six scientists on the cutting edge of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis research. These researchers study the genetics and the immunology aspects of the diseases and some of their associated health risks:

  • April Armstrong, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology, University of California, Davis;
  • Lawrence Eichenfeld, M.D., chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine;
  • Sam Hwang, M.D., Ph.D., chair of dermatology, Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee;
  • Peter Marinkovich, M.D., associate professor of dermatology, Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.;
  • Alicia Mathers, Ph.D., assistant dermatology professor; University of Pittsburgh;
  • Nehal Mehta, M.D., M.S., preventive cardiology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

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March 23, 2012