Lupus Initiative to receive $2 million in congressional appropriations bill

The Lupus Initiative, a lupus provider education program initiated by the Lupus Research Institute in collaboration with the federal government, stands to receive $2 million in the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill released by Congress.

If approved this week, the legislation would lift the program’s total support to $6.6 million, according to a press release. The bill allocates funding to the Department of Health and Human Services that also would integrate the Lupus Initiative into the national health care system.

The Lupus Initiative — managed by the American College of Rheumatology — was launched by the Office of Minority Health, Office of Women’s Health and US Surgeon General in 2013, according to the release. The program was begun to provide better lupus care, particularly among the underserved population.

The funding is “intended to engage health care professionals, educators and schools of health professions in working together to improve lupus diagnosis and treatment through education,” according to a report accompanying the bill.

The nonprofit Lupus Research Institute (LRI) has generated $170 million in novel lupus research, the release stated.

“Lupus remains dangerously undiagnosed, underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed, especially in our minority communities,” Margaret Dowd, LRI chief executive officer, said in the release.

If the legislation passes, the National Institutes of Health would receive $29.9 billion to fund biomedical research, the release said.