Washington DC (May 21, 2015)—-NORD President and CEO Peter L. Saltonstall today issued the following statement on the approval by the House Energy and Commerce Committee of the 21st Century Cures legislative initiative and the introduction of the OPEN Act in the United States Senate. read more >
Before members of Congress pack up and go home for the holidays in December, there’s one important thing they need to do: Complete the reauthorization of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act.
At the start of this Congressional year, reauthorization of this very successful legislation appeared to be a slam-dunk. The value of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act has been well documented.
Both the House and Senate passed reauthorization bills with little fanfare. But now the legislation has become stalled in the Senate, and it is not at all certain that the impasse will be resolved before the end of this Congressional season.
To leave this critically important matter in limbo would be a disservice to all Americans … and, in particular, to the rare disease community.
The Monaco family’s story illustrates why newborn screening is important. In 2001, son Stephen went to bed one evening a lively and precocious toddler. By morning, he was in medical crisis, his life forever compromised by a “silent” disease that no one knew he had.
Stephen’s sister, Caroline, leads a normal, active life today as a result of newborn screening that made possible proactive measures to protect her. In addition to the tragic loss of Stephen’s ability to fulfill his early promise, this story also has an economic component. Stephen will need a lifetime of sophisticated medical care, whereas a major part of Caroline’s treatment is simply a modified diet.
On behalf of all the Stephens and Carolines in this world, NORD is inviting everyone to join us in letting Congress know that newborn screening is important to us. We have sent a letter to Congress signed by more than 70 organizations and rare disease medical experts.
In addition, our policy team has drafted an email that you can easily personalize and send to your Congressional representatives today. Please consider joining us in this important effort.
The rare disease community has seen several policy wins in the past few months, some of which may have gone unnoticed. First, in November, Congress passed the National Pediatric Research Network Act as part of the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act. President Obama signed the measure into law on November 27th. read more >
RareDisease Dialog is the official blog for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). NORD’s staff and friends will share information of interest to the entire rare disease community.
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