Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gulf War Illness, other CDMRP Programs to Remain Fully Funded this Year under Congressional Funding Bill

House Continuing Resolution contains full funding for Gulf War Illness treatment research, funding for ALS, MS, Lung Cancer, and 21 other key military medical research priorities

Written by Anthony Hardie,

( – The continuing appropriations (CR) legislation expected to be considered in the U.S. House of Representatives this week contains full funding for the Congressionally Directed, treatment-focused Gulf War Illness Medical Research Program (CDMRP), a move that will be of great relief to the Gulf War veteran community. 

Since the failure of the omnibus appropriations bill at the end of the 112th Congress last December, the Gulf War Illness advocacy community has remained vigilant as current year funding was left as an unwritten promise by Congressional leaders.

As it was funded in the past few years, the Gulf War Illness peer-reviewed treatment-focused research program on which I have served since its initial funding in 2006 would be funded under the House bill at $8 million.  Our program vision statement directs that funded research must help to improve the health and lives of those suffering from Gulf War Illness. 

Led by Chairman Jim Binns, the Congressionally chartered Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RAC-GWVI) on which I serve recommended, sought creation of, and has been instrumental in the funding for the CDMRP program for peer-reviewed Gulf War Illness treatment research.

The House CR would also provide an $8 million appropriation for ALS research funding, a substantial increase over last year.  ALS has been found in epidemic-level rates in veterans of the 1991 Gulf War and is a presumptive condition for service-connection for any U.S. veteran.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly degenerative neurological condition that usually claims the lives of its victims in as short as 18 months after initial diagnosis.  Heavily engaged in advocacy efforts, the ALS Association’s mission is is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) funding is also included in the House version of the CR, at $4.8 million.  MS is believed by Gulf War veterans to also be highly prevalent among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.   The National MS Society, heavily involved in advocating for this funding, is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis.

MS is a presumptive condition for VA service-connection if it’s diagnosed within seven years of discharge from active duty. 

Under the House version of the CR, peer-reviewed Lung Cancer research would be funded at $12.8 million.  The Lung Cancer Alliance, the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to patient support and advocacy for people living with lung cancer and those at risk for the disease, has substantial concerns about lung cancer in Gulf War and other veterans.

Led by House Rules Committee Chairman David Drier, new to the current 113th Congress is a House Rules website that allows for relatively transparent and easy tracking of upcoming legislation and bills currently under consideration by the House.    Internet resources for tracking are posted below this article.

Twenty-one other CDMRP peer-reviewed military medical research programs would also be funded under House CR.   The full listing of the critically important CDMRP military medical research programs and their proposed funding levels under the House CR are as follows:

  1. ALS $8,000
  2. Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine $4,800
  3. Autism Research $6,400
  4. Bone Marrow Failure Disease Research Program $4,000
  5. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy $4,000
  6. Global HIV/AIDS Prevention $10,000
  7. Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health $100,000
  8. Global Deployment of the Force medical research funding -Department of Defense requested transfer to maintain full funding for the program $125,000
  9. Gulf War Illness Peer-Reviewed Research Program $8,000
  10. Multiple Sclerosis $4,800
  11. Peer-Reviewed Alzheimer Research $15,000
  12. Peer-Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program $150,000
  13. Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program $16,000
  14. Peer-Reviewed Lung Cancer Research Program $12,800
  15. Peer-Reviewed Orthopedic Research Program $24,000
  16. Peer-Reviewed Ovarian Cancer Research Program $20,000
  17. Peer Reviewed Vision research in conjunction with the DoD Vision Center of Excellence $4,000
  18. Peer-Reviewed Prostate Cancer Research Program $80,000
  19. Peer-Reviewed Spinal Cord Research Program $12,000
  20. Research in Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders $5,200
  21. SBIR to the core funded RDT&E $1,200
  22. Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) $6,400
  23. Pain Management Task Force Research $4,000
  24. Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program $50,000
  25. Neurofibromatosis Research $16,000



H.R. 1, Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011: 

CR DoD Funding Tables:  See Page 54 of 55 --

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