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Bipartisan lawmakers call for expedited diabetes research

Bipartisan lawmakers call for expedited diabetes research
© ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle Wednesday called for bipartisan policies to expedite diabetes research.

Speaking at The Hill's Diabetes and The Future of Healthcare Reform event, Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGette'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers Bipartisan lawmakers call for expedited diabetes research MORE (D-Colo.) discussed what she saw as some of the obstacles to better care.

“What we see in the diabetes realm is a very slow process at the [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] for developing and approving technologies, which really limits the access of diabetics to get the current standard of care,” said DeGette, co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.

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She added that the 21st Century Cures Act could be a model for expediting research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other institutions. Former President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law in 2016, authorizing $6.3 billion in funding to the NIH to help accelerate medical product development.

More than 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and 7.3 million have been living undiagnosed with the disease, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite being one of the most prevalent diseases in the U.S., many patients are unable to afford diabetes medicine and care.

Rep. Tom ReedTom ReedThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House moves toward second impeachment LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to impeach Trump after Capitol insurrection GOP lawmakers introduce resolution to censure Trump over Capitol riot MORE, the other co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, told The Hill's Steve Clemons that the government needs to ensure new treatments and innovations can be quickly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as make sure that they are accessible to people across the country.

“We do want [diabetes] to be a thing of the past, but we’re not there yet,” he said at the event sponsored by the Diabetes Leadership Council.