Today, our UpEndo Coalition announced new supportive provisions and a funding directive for endometriosis research in the US House of Representatives and US Senate-developed appropriations bills. This includes “report language” prioritizing research and funding for ongoing efforts around endometriosis at key federal agencies and report language that “strongly urges NIH to allocate at least $26,000,000” to endometriosis research.
The bipartisan House Endometriosis Caucus was critical to securing support for endometriosis research in the House bills, especially Reps. David Scott (D-GA), Nikema Williams (D-GA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) led a “Dear Colleague” where they were joined by forty-one other Members of Congress. In the Senate, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) were the leaders of an effort with the Appropriations Committee to include key support and the $26 million request for endometriosis research.
The UpEndo Coalition helped advance these requests through a Congressional Day of Action that included a “Hill Day” with EndoFound co-founder Padma Lakshmi and EndoFound Ambassadors, an educational briefing for congressional staff, and social media activation of UpEndo Coalition members. A support letter from the coalition was also developed and shared with key congressional offices.
In the House Appropriations Committee Fiscal Year 2023 bills, endometriosis research is prioritized by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and newly supported through the Department of Veterans Affairs Women Veterans Research Program (WVRP). In the Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Year 2023 bills, endometriosis research is prioritized for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Department of Defense’s Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). Additionally, the bill includes a directive to the NICHD that “strongly urges NIH to allocate at least $26,000,000 to continue to expand basic, clinical, and translational research into the mechanics of endometriosis, identify early diagnostic markers, and develop new treatment methods. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and leadership, will now need to negotiate the final bills to be passed before they are sent to the President for his signature.
“We’re so grateful for the leadership displayed by our partners in the United States House and Senate. Thanks to this bill, health experts, researchers, and advocates can receive the resources they have so desperately needed to educate the American public about early detection and alternative treatment methods that have been missing for too long. There is no time to waste; it’s time that Congress comes to a final agreement so President Biden can sign it into law and give Endometriosis patients the equitable and quality care they need to live more fulfilling lives,” said EndoFound Co-Founder Padma Lakshmi.
EndoFound co-founder Dr. Tamer Seckin who has worked with several researchers, said, “I'm pleased with the movement on Capitol Hill to include this report language. I thank the Appropriations Committees for prioritizing endometriosis through NIH and DOD, including most recently the Department of Veterans Affairs Women Veterans Research Program (WVRP). EndoFound prioritizes landmark endometriosis research, having given away over $1M in seed money to over 30 researcher, some of whom were then able to apply and receive NIH grants. The funding the NIH provides is critical to diagnosing and treating endometriosis early. Treating the disease as early as possible is essential to giving the millions of individuals suffering from this disease a pain-free life.”
“In 2020 while serving as US Congresswoman, I shared my personal story about endometriosis and set out to double the funding allocated to its research. Not only were we successful, we set the tone and new baseline for funding levels. Since my time in Congress, I’ve been so proud to work with the Endometriosis Foundation of America and their UpEndo coalition as they continue to educate and advocate for equitable funding, awareness and care. There is so much more to do, but this funding is a huge win that will continue to make an impact year after year,” said Former Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer.
Each fiscal year, Congress develops appropriations bills to fund the programs and activities of the federal government and also sets policies and priorities for utilizing the funding provided through bill “reports.” The UpEndo Coalition of the Endometriosis Foundation of America was created to bring more attention and awareness to endometriosis in Congress and support the efforts of our champions in Congress to ensure continued prioritization for endometriosis research at key federal agencies and in other areas of federal and state policy development.