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CLSA Wire

CLSA Hosts Congressional Briefing, Publishes Report to Raise Awareness of IBD
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Dec. 13, 2017

During Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week – recognized annually in the U.S. between Dec. 1-7, CLSA hosted a congressional briefing on Dec. 6, in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, on “Enhancing Patient Access to Therapies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).”

More than 3 million Americans suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD),an umbrella term for two distinct conditions – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – both characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD can significantly affect a patient’s quality of life and may impose tremendous public health burdens, including economic costs. There is currently no cure for IBD, and patients require chronic, long-term treatment. Major scientific advances within the fields of genetics, immunology, and microbiology have led to a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in IBD and an increase in the number of treatment options available for IBD patients.

CLSA’s informational briefing was an opportunity to for Members of Congress, their staff, and other stakeholders to hear from the patient’s perspective (Kate Detwiler – IBD Patient), issues that clinicians face in treating patients (Dr. Michael Weinstein – Gastroenterologist), and how Congress can help to improve access to necessary treatments (Laura Wingate – Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and Uthra Sundaram – Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA). The briefing also featured remarks from Reps. Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Palm Desert) and Brad Wenstrup, MD (R-Ohio), who serve as cosponsors of H.R. 2077, Restoring the Patients’ Voice Act, and from Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pennsylvania), co-chair of the Crohn’s & Colitis Caucus.

To learn more about IBD and how Congress can help ensure patients receive access to necessary therapies, please check out our latest educational brochure, “Understanding IBD.” Questions? Please contact Adam Lotspike, CLSA’s Associate Director of Federal Government Relations (alotspike@califesciences.org).