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Co-Sponsorship of Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act Increases to 27 Members

November 11, 2008

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The CPF today announced that the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (PFREA) (H.R. 6567) – which would authorize $16 million in new federal funding for pulmonary fibrosis (PF) research – has now gained the support of 27 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

PFREA is first of its kind legislation to improve research and awareness of pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal lung disease with no known cause, no FDA approved treatment and no cure. (For more information on PF, visit http://www.coalitionforpf.org/). The PFREA is expected to be re-introduced in the 111th Congress in early 2009. However, additional Members of Congress could be added on as co-sponsors in the current Congress if there is a lame duck Congressional session.

“We are pleased to see the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act gaining momentum. This bill is critical to finding treatments and saving lives from this devastating disease,” said Mishka Michon, Chief Executive Officer of the CPF. “We are thankful for the leadership Brian Baird and Mike Castle have given to this effort.”

The PFREA was originally introduced in Congress on July 22, 2008 by Representative Brian Baird (D-WA) and Representative Mike Castle (R-DE). Congressman Baird lost his father to pulmonary fibrosis, and Congressman Castle lost his brother and sister to the devastating disease. A substantial portion of the $16 million authorization would be used to establish a comprehensive national registry of PF patients. The Act would also:

   --  Mandate the creation of a National PF Action Plan, in conjunction with       the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease       Control (CDC), which would focus on strategies to improve public       awareness of PF, and accelerate patient and medical education       strategies.  The Action Plan would be provided to the Director of the       NIH within one year of the Act's passage.   --  Establish a National PF Advisory Board, which would make       recommendations to the NIH and CDC concerning the structure and       management of a PF patient registry.  The goal of the registry would       be to improve understanding of the cause(s) and progression of PF,       improve standards of care, accelerate research, and develop new       therapies sooner.   --  Establish a National Summit on PF, to foster collaboration between       Federal Agencies, researchers, patients and advocates to identify new       approaches to research and treat PF.  The Summit would be held every       three years.   

To view the legislation in its entirety, please visit http://thomas.loc.gov/ and type in “Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act” in the search box for bills.

To date, the following Members of Congress have agreed to co-sponsor H.R. 6567:

   --  Thomas Allen - Maine   --  Rob Bishop - Utah   --  Earl Blumenauer - Oregon   --  Dennis Cardoza - California   --  Mike Castle - Delaware   --  Nathan Deal - Georgia   --  Diana DeGette - Colorado   --  Jim Gerlach - Pennsylvania   --  Virgil Goode - Virginia   --  Bob Goodlatte - Virginia   --  Bart Gordan - Tennessee   --  Jane Harman- California   --  Marcy Kaptur - Ohio   --  Mark Kirk - Illinois   --  Tom Latham - Louisiana   --  Steven LaTourette - Ohio   --  Zoe Lofgen - California   --  Jim Marshall - Georgia   --  Bill Pascrell - New Jersey   --  David Price - North Carolina   --  Jackie Speier - California   --  John Tierney - Massachusetts   --  Henry Waxman - California   --  Peter Welch - Vermont   --  Robert Wexler - Florida   --  Frank Wolf - Virginia   --  C.W. "Bill" Young - Florida   

The CPF is actively advocating for the Bill’s passage, and is asking its 17,000 members, and all those who are affected by PF, to voice their support for HR 6567 by visiting http://www.coalitionforpf.org/cpf_advocacy.php and becoming a CPF advocate. By joining the ACT campaign, you will become part of an army of volunteers who are contacting Congress, national health policymakers and the media to educate them about the PF. Every three months, members will receive free the CPF’s ACT Action Alert, a newsletter detailing the advocacy efforts and outlining ways you can help. The CPF’s advocacy program allows you to easily contact your Member of Congress immediately to voice your support. For further information, please visit the CPF at http://www.coalitionforpf.org/, call us at 888-222-8541, or email us at info@coalitionforpf.org.

About Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)

IPF is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring – known as fibrosis — and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer from IPF, and there is currently no known cause or cure. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. IPF is difficult to diagnose and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.

About the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), while educating, supporting, and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into new approaches to treat and cure pulmonary fibrosis; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of IPF issues; and works to improve awareness of IPF in the medical community as well as the general public. The CPF’s nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 17,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with pulmonary fibrosis. For more information please visit http://www.coalitionforpf.org/ or call (888) 222-8541.

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

CONTACT: Teresa Barnes of Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis,+1-303-521-4080, tbarnes@coalitionforpf.org

Web Site: http://www.coalitionforpf.org/




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