As an advocate for patients with rare diseases you are a very important part of the legislative process. You can make the difference as you are the voices your legislators and congressmen want, or in some cases do not want to hear. Please complete the form below to take action and contact your Member of Congress

After you take action your job is not done! The final step is to share the action alert with your family, friends, co-workers and any other people that might be interested in taking action on behalf of the rare disease community.

Sign-on to Thank Reps. Upton & DeGette for their Leadership

Rare disease groups are circulating an organizational sign-on letter to thank Chairman Upton (R-MI) and Representative DeGette (D-CO) for leading the 21st Century Cures Initiative, and for incorporating the patient voice. To date, over 40 organizations have signed, including: the EveryLife Foundation, Global Genes, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, and the Sarcoma Foundation of America. View the sign-on letter here and email mbronstein@everylifefoundation.org to get signed-on. Please share with your networks so we can send a strong message to Congress!

Sign-on to Preserve GINA & ADA Protections

Genetic Alliance is circulating a sign-on opportunity for groups looking to protect the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recently introduced legislation seeks to exempt employer-based wellness programs from GINA and the ADA. This could allow employers to inquire about employees’ private genetic information or medical information unrelated to their ability to do their jobs, and penalize employees who choose to keep that information private. Click here to view the full letter and to sign-on.

Stand Up for Health Research Funding

Research!America has issued an action alert on behalf of health research funding. Annually, members of Congress have the opportunity to influence the appropriations process by submitting their funding priorities to appropriators. Now is the time to ask your representatives in the House and Senate to champion increased funding for medical and health research in the fiscal year 2016.

Patient Focused Drug Development

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is taking the lead on strengthening the voice of the patient throughout the drug and larger medical product development process. They are doing this by urging congress to add  transparency requirements in upcoming 21st Century Cures Legislation.

PPMD has written a sign-on letter to urge that a provision known as the Patient-Focused Impact Assessment Act (PFIA) be included in 21st Century Cures draft legislation when released in early 2015.

Read the letter here: PFIA Sign On Letter

If you have any questions, or to sign-on please feel free to contact PPMD or Annie Kennedy with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy annie@parentprojectmd.org

The Coalition for Health Funding: Sign On to Stop Sequestration

Sequestration is upon us again as the temporary and partial relief that Chairman Ryan and Chairman Murray negotiated in the Bipartisan Budget Act expires at the end of FY 2015. With the very real threat of the return of these cuts full-bore in the upcoming FY 2016 budget cycle absent congressional action, it is time for our community to unite again to protect funding for federal programs that keep Americans safe, healthy, and secure.

 The Coalition for Health Funding encourages all national, state, and local organizations to sign on to this letter urging Congress to build on the Bipartisan Budget Act and stop sequestration.

Sequestration could further cut funding to NIH and FDA – agencies which are critical to advancing our understanding of and treatments for rare diseases.

Below are the text of the letter and instructions to sign on. The letter is also available online here. Due to the large number of signatures, we WILL NOT be accepting any edits. Organizations must sign on to the letter “as is.”

DEADLINE is January 29, 2015

Huntington’s Disease Action Alert

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America is asking advocates to contact their Members of Congress to expedite Social Security Disability Insurance for patients upon diagnosis.

Huntington’s Disease is a rare, fatal, genetic neurodegenerative disease that progressively causes total physical and mental deterioration during an individual’s prime working years. Every individual with HD will ultimately lose the ability to live independently.

Read more

Help Grow the Rare Disease Congressional Caucus

Help us strengthen the rare disease community’s voice on Capitol Hill!  Please take 3 minutes to ask your Member of Congress to join the Rare Disease Caucus at bit.ly/Rare-Caucus.

It’s easy – the Action Center has a draft letter that will automatically be sent to your Member of Congress – just put in your name and address & click send.  We also encourage you to personalize the letter to share information about your specific disease.  If your Congress Member is already on the Caucus the letter will automatically populate as a thank you letter instead – these are just as important to send!

It can take up to 10 letters from constituents for a Member to respond so please share this Action Alert with your friends, family & colleagues.

Background:

There are 435 Members in the House of Representatives – only 51 of them have joined the Rare Disease Congressional Caucus – 23 new members joined since our Lobby Day.  A strong Caucus will enhance the Rare Disease Community political power on Capitol Hill.   Help us reach our goal of 200 Caucus Members.

The Rare Disease Congressional Caucus will help bring public and Congressional awareness to the unique needs of the rare disease community – patients, physicians, scientists, and industry, and create opportunities to address roadblocks in access to and development of crucial treatments.  The Caucus will give a permanent voice to the rare disease community on Capitol Hill.  Working together, we can find solutions that turn hope into treatments.

Learn More about the Rare Disease Caucus at: http://rareadvocates.org/category/caucus/

See the full list of Caucus Members at: http://rareadvocates.org/rarecaucus/