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Neurological Data Bill (S. 849) to be Considered by Senate HELP Committee

January 22, 2016

The National MS Society applauds Senate Health Labor Education and Pensions (HELP) committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA)’s announcement that the Committee will hold its first executive session on biomedical innovation on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Thanks to MS activist correspondance and requests, on Feb. 9 the committee will consider the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act of 2015 (S.849), sponsored by Sens. Isakson (R-Ga.) and Murphy (D-Conn.) – priority legislation for the National MS Society. The committee will be holding two additional meetings on March 9  and April 6 on the topic.

The U.S. House of Representatives included the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (H.R. 292/S.849) in its 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) which passed in July 2015 with a 344-77 vote. The HELP Committee’s consideration of S. 849 is the first significant advancement in the Senate on the legislation, which currently has 19 bipartisan cosponsors including 7 who are on the HELP Committee. The bill will create a nationwide system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases, including MS, which could one day lead to a cure. 

HELP Committee Chair Alexander shared, “Senators and staff on our committee have been working together throughout 2015 to produce a number of bipartisan pieces of legislation that are ready for the full committee to consider. The House has completed its work on the 21st Century Cures Act. The president has announced his support for a precision medicine initiative and a cancer ‘moonshot.’ It is urgent that the Senate finish its work and turn into law these ideas that will help virtually every American.”

The Society strongly supports this important step to making the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act law. Read more about our support of the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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