On Thursday, July 28, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill entitled the National
Plan to End Parkinson’s Act and on Thursday September 15, a companion bill was introduced in the Senate. This is a critical moment for the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community, as this Act acknowledges the need for our government to increase its efforts to conquer PD!
In order to improve the chances of this bill getting passed by the House, the general public
needs to encourage their local representatives to co-sponsor this bill. (To get involved, see
What is the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act?
This Act will unite the federal government and all those impacted by Parkinson’s disease in a
mission to prevent and cure Parkinson’s! This bipartisan legislation is led by Representative
Paul Tonko (Democrat, New York) and Representative Gus Bilirakis (Republican,Florida) in the House and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (Republican, West Virginia and Senator Chris Murphy (Democrat, Connecticut) in the Senate.
The Act aims to create a comprehensive National Parkinson’s disease plan, which will
address ways to:
- Create an increase in federal research funding to help prevent and cure PD
- Develop a more streamlined approval process for treatments for PD
- Create new and improved models for patient care, with a specific interest in decreasing health disparities in PD treatment
- Develop standards and measures to prevent PD
- Coordinate a national plan to track cases of PD
- Improve the early diagnosis of PD
- Increase public engagement and public awareness of the disease
- Decrease the use of toxins that may contribute to PD risk
- (and more)
To achieve these goals, an Advisory council will be created which will include members of all
federal agencies involved in PD research and care, as well as non-federal members including
people with PD, family care partners, health care providers and PD researchers. The American
Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) will work together with the Michael J. Fox Foundation
and the Parkinson’s Foundation (among others) as representatives on the Advisory council, and
we are thrilled to be part of this effort. The council will meet quarterly to formulate and
implement the National plan and will be held accountable for achieving the goals outlined.
What happens next?
This bill will go through the traditional congressional process and will need to be voted on by the
House. To make this happen, your Representative in the U.S. House needs to hear from you!
Please send an email asking them to show their support for this bill by becoming a co-
sponsor. It’s easy to do and only takes about 90 seconds. Our partners at the Michael J. Fox
Foundation created a simple online form that makes it easy to take this action.
Once the bill passes into law, the real work will begin for the Federal government, along with all
interested parties, to flesh out the details of the plan. APDA will be an eager participant in this
process and will be turning to you, our constituents, for your ideas and contributions as the
National Plan is developed and implemented.