MD CARE Act Passes House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the Subcommittee on Health of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced that a bill he authored to combat Muscular Dystrophy has passed the House of Representatives.

Muscular Dystrophy is not a single disease, but is an overarching term for a spectrum of genetic disorders resulting in progressive muscle weakness and degeneration.  Hundreds of thousands of children and adults currently suffer from the various forms of Muscular Dystrophy in the United States, and around the world

“The MD CARE Act of 2013 ensures that we are able to better respond to the changing needs of people living with Muscular Dystrophy. This bill amends the current law by updating programs to reflect the scientific gains made since the law was last updated in 2008,” said Congressman Engel. “Many people with MD are living longer, and we must continue to meet their needs. I am pleased that this bill passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.”

The MD CARE Amendments Act of 2013 improves the MD CARE Act to reflect the latest research, enables the Director of the NIH to expand and intensify programs related to various forms of Muscular Dystrophy, and ensures that all nine of the most common forms of Muscular Dystrophy are targeted by this program. This legislation also strengthens the Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee, improves data collection, and increases awareness of treatment options among medical professionals.

Since 2001, the MD CARE Act has successfully coordinated and focused biomedical research.  As a direct result of this law, the lifespan of the average American living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – the most common form of Muscular Dystrophy in children – has increased by a full 10 years.

Although there is still no cure, the MD CARE Act has played a critical role in improving the lives of those suffering from these lethal disorders.

TheMD CARE Act has also established clinical care standards, developed epidemiological data, and helped generate more than 65 clinical trials, more than 30 of which are ongoing today.

Please click here to view Congressman Engel’s speech in support of the bill on the House floor: