Tag Archives: autoimmune

Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY 25th)

On March 28, 2012 in partnership with the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups (NCAPG), the IPPF co-sponsored a congressional briefing titled, “The Multi-Generational Impact of Autoimmune Disease: America’s Silent Health Crisis” featuring experts on the subject.

The IPPF is pleased to announce that Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY 25th) is sponsoring a bi-partisan bill that will establish an autoimmune disease interdepartmental coordinating committee — and it has full House leadership support. The bill is excellent and would establish a very high-level committee called the Autoimmune Diseases Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee (ADICC). The Committee would have the responsibility to develop criteria to be used in defining and identifying autoimmune disease, report on the  strategic plan for autoimmune diseases, and make recommendations on education and continued education for health care professionals on autoimmune disease.  Although the funding included is not a lot (just over $1 million), more funding could be added in future years as the ADICC make budgetary recommendations in the follow on years of the bill’s time frame.

I have been told that they will not include any language about a single disease and that the House leadership has also made a decision not to support any single disease (not just autoimmune ones) in any legislative language.  It would, therefore, make real sense to band together behind this bill which will benefit all autoimmune diseases.

The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) has recommended that the Social Security Administration be included on the ADICC and is waiting to hear back as to whether the Congresswoman agrees. AARDA member organizations would also like to have some language that would support a study of the healthcare costs (now an unknown) of autoimmune diseases and are working together to make this a reality.

The IPPF is a long-time member of AARDA (www.aarda.org) and the NCAPG. This is a great opportunity to work together for the benefit of all autoimmune diseases. The IPPF will keep members posted on the progress of this bill. Feel free to contact your US representatives and let them know you support this bill.

Congress (www.congress.gov)| House of Representatives (www.house.gov)

Although there are no standard guidelines for the treatment of autoimmune blistering diseases, azathioprine has shown good efficacy in acquired autoimmune blistering diseases, and is well tolerated. Side effects of azathioprine normally occur in mild variants. Severe reactions are due to reduced thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) or inosine triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase (ITPA) activity. Therefore, screening for TPMT activity should be conducted in white patients and Africans, whereas Japanese should be screened for ITPA activity before therapy with azathioprine is started. Azathioprine is clinically meaningful for the treatment of pemphigus. (Source: Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America)