“Veterans are developing ALS in rates higher than the general population.” — VA Secretary Dr. James Peake, 2008.
Since 1910, multiple studies have shown that the rate at which U.S. veterans develop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is twice as high as the American general population. Despite this, there’s a surprisingly low amount of awareness of the disease among the veteran community.
Every day in America, three veterans are diagnosed with ALS while another three die from it. The prognosis for a person diagnosed with ALS today is largely the same as it was 150 years ago — death in two to five years.
The veterans’ community urgently needs new ALS therapies for people with ALS. The “Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act” has been introduced to the 117th Congress as House Resolution 3537 (HR3537) and Senate Resolution 1813 (S1813).
The ALS Act will fund early access to ALS investigational therapies, accelerate therapy development, and increase research on and development of interventions. But it needs more co-sponsors in the Congress. I have already called both Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner. Please do the same.
I call upon Congress to pass the ALS Act. We can solve urgent health needs when we put our minds to it. The quick vaccine development during the pandemic proves that.