News Release

Endocrine Society celebrates extension of Special Diabetes Program

Congress approves program’s first funding increase in 20 years

Business Announcement

The Endocrine Society

WASHINGTON—The Endocrine Society applauds Congress for approving the first funding increase for the Special Diabetes Program in two decades.

The U.S. Senate voted Friday to extend the program, which supports both diabetes care and research into type 1 diabetes, until the end of 2024. This is part of the six-bill package funding several federal agencies. President Biden is expected to sign the bills.

Congress created the Special Diabetes Program in 1997 to advance research in type 1 diabetes and to address the disproportionate burden of type 2 diabetes on American Indians and Alaskan natives.

The program has two components:

  • Type 1 diabetes research, which is administered by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.
  • Support for prevention, education, and treatment programs for indigenous communities across the nation, which is administered through the Indian Health Service.

The extension passed by Congress will fund the program through the end of 2024 at $160 million per-program per-year, a $10 million increase for each component. The program has not received an increase in funding since Fiscal Year 2004.

More than 38 million people nationwide have diabetes. American Indians and Alaskan natives are almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than White adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More than 1.7 million adults and 304,000 children and teenagers have type 1 diabetes, according to the CDC.

The program’s type 1 diabetes research component has advanced our understanding and treatment of this condition. The research has contributed to the development of the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication that can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, the first cellular therapy to treat adults who have type 1 diabetes and recurrent episodes of dangerously low blood glucose levels, and several artificial pancreas systems to help individuals achieve better blood glucose control.

The Endocrine Society is leading efforts in the diabetes community to advocate for a reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program. We will continue to advocate for a long-term reauthorization of this critically important program.

We applaud the bipartisan co-chairs of the Diabetes Caucus, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), for their leadership in securing an increase in funding for the Special Diabetes Program.

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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

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