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March 19, 2018 – Friends of NIDDK Request Funding for National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

To download the official letter – click here.


March 19, 2018


The Honorable Tom Cole


Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515


The Honorable Rosa DeLauro Ranking Member

Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

The undersigned organizations are members of the Friends of NIDDK, a coalition of professional societies and patient advocacy groups with a commitment to promoting and sustaining the vital research activities of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Friends of NIDDK was established with the vision of uniting organizations to speak with one voice about the important research being conducted by NIDDK. On behalf of the Coalition, we would like to thank you for your past efforts to increase funding for NIH and NIDDK. The Friends of NIDDK respectfully requests $2.165 billion in FY 2019 for NIDDK.

As you know, NIDDK has made numerous scientific advances through its ongoing research, and continued robust federal funding is needed to spur future scientific initiatives. NIDDK conducts and supports medical research and research training for diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutritional disorders, and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases. Collectively these are some of the most common, yet costly, diseases impacting Americans.

For example, the over 114 million Americans that have diabetes and prediabetes cost the nation $322 billion in 2012 alone. Although approximately 30 million American adults have chronic kidney disease and millions of others are at increased risk, NIH investments in kidney research are less than 1 percent of Medicare costs for kidney care. Recent Centers for Disease Control data indicates that the prevalence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease, has nearly doubled over the past 15 years from 1.6 million to 3.3 million. These diseases cost more than $2.2 billion in direct and indirect costs annually. Urologic diseases affect people of all ages, collectively result in health care expenditures of over $40 billion, and often lead to substantial disability and impaired quality of life. These diseases represent only a portion of the NIDDK research portfolio, but underscore the need for continued investment.

Research activities funded by NIDDK are utilizing innovative technology to discover cross-cutting solutions that will ultimately reduce health care costs and improve quality of life for

millions of Americans. Some of the NIDDK’s most recent research has examined genetic variants, biomarkers, inter-organ nerve communication, artificial organ production, and many other exciting and ground-breaking issues that deserve continued support. With increased resources, NIDDK could implement a wide array of important research initiatives, which could prove invaluable in our understanding of these debilitating diseases.

Thank you for your consideration of our request. We look forward to working with you to support NIDDK. Should you have any questions or require additional information regarding the Friends of NIDDK, please contact the Friends of NIDDK’s Washington representative, Jim Twaddell, at Jim.Twaddell@dbr.com or (202) 230-5130.


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP)

American Diabetes Association

American Gastroenterological Association

American Kidney Fund

American Liver Foundation

American Nephrology Nurses Association

American Pancreatic Association

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)

American Society of Nephrology

American Society for Nutrition

American Society of Transplantation

American Urological Association

American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS)

Association of Minority Health and Health Professions Schools, Inc.

Beyond Celiac

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation

Digestive Diseases Coalition

Global Liver Institute

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD)

Interstitial Cystitis Association

JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)

National Kidney Foundation

NephCure Kidney International

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Northwest Kidney Centers

Nutrition and Medical Foods Coalition

PKD Foundation

Renal Physicians Association

Simon Foundation