Congressman Brian Baird (WA-03) today applauded the introduction of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (PFREA) in the U.S. Senate by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID). The PFREA will establish a national Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) patient registry and will expand PF research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Congressman Baird introduced companion legislation in the House last year, with Congressman Mike Castle (DE-At Large) as co-sponsor.
"Finding a cure for Pulmonary Fibrosis is a cause that is very close to me," Congressman Baird said. "My father was the picture of health until PF struck. PF kills as many people annually as breast cancer does, but too few people know about it, and when they do, it's too late. My hope is that this Senate bill, along with legislation I sponsored in the House, will finally improve research and awareness. I am honored to be working with Senators Murray and Crapo, along with Congressman Castle, in helping lead the fight to find a cure for this deadly disease."
Like the companion House bill (H.R. 1079) introduced by Congressmen Baird and Castle, the Senate version of PFREA introduced by Senators Murray and Crapo will fund the establishment of a national Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) patient registry and encourages the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand PF research. Both bills contain provisions encouraging the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and NIH to work together in seeking a cure and increasing public awareness of PF.
Pulmonary Fibrosis is a lung disorder characterized by progressive scarring and deterioration of the lungs. Currently, there is currently no cause, treatment, or cure. PF kills 40,000 Americans each year, and kills an estimated two-thirds of patients within five years of being diagnosed. Congressman Baird's father, William, was diagnosed with PF in 1999 after going to the doctor complaining of shortness of breath. William Baird lost his battle with the disease in 2001. The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis estimates that 128,000 Americans suffer from PF. Approximately 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.