Tuesday your advocacy efforts paid off. As a result of past Headache on the Hill events and the on-line petition (almost 9000 signers so far), Congress has taken notice.
A hearing on Pain in America; Exploring Challenges to Relief was held Tuesday before the full Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. At the hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) entered into the Congressional Record our written testimony on the impact of headache disorders. Take a look at the submitted testimony, including some of your comments, and listen to the hearing. The exposure provided by this hearing represents real progress in gaining congressional awareness of the disabling nature of headache disorders.
Congressional attention is crucial because the funding for headache research remains abysmal. The new numbers for NIH expenditures for ‘headaches’ and ‘migraine’ were posted on Monday. While NIH funding for headache research rose overall from $19M in FY10 to $21M in FY11, it is estimated to drop to $20M through FY13. Likewise, migraine research rose from $15M in FY10 to $16M in FY11, but is predicted to remain at that level through FY13. Where are the significant funded initiatives that were to emerge from the NIH planning workshop of 2010? Furthermore, the Department of Defense is not following-up their past funding of headache research with any new funding in FY12. Essentially research funding levels are static everywhere, where they ought to be doubling every two or three years to make up for decades of lost research opportunities.
So we still need your help now. We still seek a full airing of the state of headache disorders in devoted hearings before committees on both the Senate and House sides of Congress.
If you haven’t signed the petition already,
Please encourage others to do so too. Here's a URL that's easy to remember that will take you directly to a petition page: www.HeadacheAdvocacy.org/petition.
There's also a one-page flyer you can download and share with others via email or by printing and giving it to them. It even has a QR (quick response) code on it that can be read by apps on many smart phones. When read in those apps, it goes directly to the petition page so people can sign it. Download the flyer.
Thanks very much.