WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), introduced the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act, which aims to unite the federal government in a mission to cure and prevent Parkinson’s, alleviate financial and health burdens on American families, and reduce government spending over time. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common – and fastest-growing – neurological disease globally with at least 60,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Representatives Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Bilirakis (R-Fla.) introduced companion legislation, H.R. 8585, in July 2022.
“Far too many West Virginians are impacted by Parkinson’s disease,” Senator Capito said. “Whether they are living with the disease or caring for someone impacted by it, Parkinson’s takes a terrible toll on the physical, mental, emotional, and economic well-being of everyone involved. The National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act is commonsense legislation which will establish a robust response to address the disease and move us towards new treatments and a cure.”
“Anyone living with Parkinson’s or caring for a loved one impacted by the disease knows just how devastating a diagnosis it can be. The National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act would create a comprehensive strategy to get us closer to a cure while also ensuring we do everything we can to help patients and their families access higher quality, more affordable care,” Senator Murphy said.
“With more Parkinson’s therapies available today and more in clinical testing, we’re hopeful about the future of Parkinson’s research and care. Yet, to realize our mission we know it’ll take the collaborative effort of individuals across sectors to move the dial and find a cure,” Deborah W. Brooks, CEO and Co-Founder of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, said. “The Parkinson’s community across the United States is grateful for the leadership of Senator Capito and Senator Murphy in leading the Senate effort on The National Plan to End Parkinson’s — an important bill that will allow collaboration between the public and private sectors to prioritize research advancements toward better treatments and access to quality care that every person touched by this disease urgently needs.”
“Senator Capito is an incredible leader and champion of better cures and treatments for neurological diseases,” George Manahan, a Charleston business owner and person living with Parkinson’s disease, said. “Her leadership on the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act gives people suffering from Parkinson’s disease new hope for a cure. When I was diagnosed, I began working with state and federal lawmakers to prioritize the need for a cure and public-private collaboration to make it happen. Senator Capito is a hero to those of us living with Parkinson’s, and I am thankful for her work to create this important bill.”
“Parkinson’s disease is impacting patients and their families in America more than ever before. It causes progressive disability in movement, cognition, and other functions with no cure on the horizon. We need to coordinate and accelerate our research and management efforts so that we can better understand this disease, in hopes that one day soon we will see an end to this disease,” Dr. Ali Rezai, Executive Chair of WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI), said.
The National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act will create an advisory council comprising members of every federal agency that supports research, care, and services for Parkinson’s, plus caregivers, patients and other non-federal experts.
The council will:
• Ensure coordination among all federal entities with responsibility for managing, treating, and curing Parkinson’s disease;
• Evaluate all current federal programs related to Parkinson’s;
• Write a national plan to prevent and cure Parkinson’s, and reduce the financial impact of the disease on patients and the federal government; and
• Report annually to Congress on progress toward the plan’s goals.