Congressman Brian Higgins announced support for the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act. The bill, cosponsored by Higgins, seeks to expand and accelerate the research, development and approval of treatments for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
“Rare neurodegenerative diseases like ALS attack a person’s cells in their brain and spinal cord, but for the thousands of Americans diagnosed each year, with no cure and scarce treatment options, it also attacks their chances of a better future,” Higgins said. “This bill aims to provide hope for ALS patients and their families by supporting the research and development of possible treatments right now.”
Currently, patients with ALS will, on average, live for two to five years from the time they are diagnosed. This bill aims to save lives by providing grant funding to expand access to ALS clinical trials, and by establishing the Collaborative for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Department of Health and Human Services with the goal of accelerating and increasing the research, development and approval of drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases.
Last December, Higgins announced the passage of legislation assisting those with ALS to quickly receive their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits by eliminating the previous five-month waiting period.