Special Diabetes Program Extended for One Year

On March 31st, Congress extended the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) for a year. The federal funding for this essential program was set to expire on September 30, 2014, but the inclusion of SDP as part of the fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate has ensured the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) and the Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes (SDP-Type1) will continue through September 2015 with an additional $300 million in funding.

SDPI provides prevention, education and treatment programs for the American Indian and Alaskan Native community. At nearly 16.1 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups. The vital programming the SDPI provides, contributes to the overall reduction of the deadly diabetes complications that disproportionately affect this population.

The Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes addresses the need for increased type 1 diabetes research. SDP-Type1 basic and clinical research has demonstrated progress in delaying the full onset of type 1 diabetes in some participants. The continued support for this program by Congress will lead to a better understanding of the genetic and environmental causes of the disease that will help prevent, treat and reverse some of the long-term complications associated with type 1 diabetes.

Each year, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes take a devastating toll on the physical, emotional and fiscal health of our nation. Nearly 26 million adults and children are living with diabetes in the U.S. and another 79 million have prediabetes, placing them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. By extending the Special Diabetes Program, Congress has afforded access to essential research, treatment and prevention programs that improve the lives of the millions of people living with diabetes, and those at risk.