In order to bolster research into pediatric conditions and overcome some of the obstacles of pediatric research, the National Pediatric Research Network Act authorizes the National Institutes of Health to establish up to 20 multi-institution pediatric research consortia. Increased pediatric research is badly needed so that individuals affected by functional GI and motility disorders can avoid a lifetime of discomfort and costly medical treatment.
Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders (FGIMDs) affect individuals of all ages, including children, and these conditions can range in severity from discomforting to life-changing or life-threatening. Most of these disorders, even those that emerge during childhood, are chronic and require a lifetime of care to manage painful and disabling symptoms. Despite the severity of FGIMDs and the high healthcare costs associated with addressing these conditions, little is understood scientifically and treatment options are extremely limited. This lack of understanding and available treatment options is particularly serious for pediatric FGIMDs, where, as with other pediatric conditions, it is especially difficult to conduct research activities for a number of reasons.
In an effort to improve the lives of individuals affected by FGIMDs we currently support the Digestive Health Alliance Children’s GI Research Network, the only multi-center research consortium dedicated to ending the suffering caused by functional GI and motility disorders during childhood. This Network currently conducts collaborative research projects focused on improving diagnosis and treatment of pediatric FGIMDs. As the nation’s leading research consortium focused on pediatric FGIMDs, the Digestive Health Alliance Children’s GI Research Network would compete well for the federal support made available by this legislation.
The National Pediatric Research Network Act became law on November 27, 2013. Thank you to everyone who supported passage of this critical bill!