June 23, 2011

Landmark Bill Introduced in the U.S. Congress to Expand Research of Digestive Disorders

MILWAUKEE, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A bill to expand federal research of functional gastrointestinal (GI) and motility disorders, such as IBS, GERD and gastroparesis, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2011 (H.R. 2239) was introduced by original cosponsors Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI-5) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA-8) on June 16. The proposed legislation was drafted by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD).

In addition to raising critical awareness of functional GI and motility disorders and the needs of patients, passage of this landmark legislation will grant the National Institutes of Health (NIH) new authority to initiate innovative research projects, establish a Centers of Excellence Program in this area, and coordinate research activities with the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration when appropriate. Moreover, H.R. 2239 calls on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve review, approval, and oversight of treatments for FGIMDs.

Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders can affect any part of the GI tract, from the esophagus to the rectum. They are characterized by long-term, unpredictable and sometimes disabling symptoms. An absence generally of structural or biochemical abnormalities evident on standard tests makes them challenging to diagnose and treat. The conditions are associated with increased sensitivity of the GI tract, abnormal motor functioning, and brain-gut dysfunction. The specific underlying cause or causes have not yet been determined. Over two dozen functional GI and motility disorders have been identified. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) and gastroparesis are common examples.

Additional, official information on H.R. 2239 can be found at: http://www.iffgd.org/HR2239.

The introduction of H.R. 2239 grew out of the success of last year's House Resolution (H.Res. 1309) that called on the National Institutes of Health to expand their research activities in this field. IFFGD is encouraging people affected by chronic digestive disorders to contact their representatives and ask them to cosponsor this resolution.

IFFGD is a nonprofit digestive health and research organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since 1991, IFFGD has been providing information, education and support to people affected by chronic digestive disorders. More information about IFFGD and its advocacy efforts can be found at: http://www.iffgd.org/site/advocacy/ or by contacting Dane Christiansen at [email protected] or 414-964-1799.

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SOURCE International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders