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Resolution Recognizing Pulmonary Fibrosis Challenges Overwhelmingly Passes House

Legislation formally calls for research into treatment, cure for devastating lung disease

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) announced the passage of important legislation that recognizes the need for research into the cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a deadly lung disease with no known cause, no FDA-approved treatment, or cure and a diseases which claims 40,000 lives a year, the same number as are lost to breast cancer.

House Concurrent Resolution 182 (H. Con. Res. 182) passed by a vote of 414-0. The resolution raises the importance of the urgent need to identify viable treatments and an eventual cure for IPF, a disease that is becoming alarmingly more prevalent in the United States.

"The passage of this legislation is a tremendous benchmark for the IPF community," said Mark Shreve, chief executive officer of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis. "This effort reaffirms our voice is being heard by Congress. We are especially appreciative of Members of Congress for their support, particularly U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) for introducing the resolution and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) for their co-sponsorship. We are also grateful to the late Rep. Charlie Norwood and his family for their efforts to help raise awareness of IPF."

In speeches on the House floor, Rep. Baird (D-WA) said, "I want to commend families and friends from the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis who were here a couple of weeks ago on Capitol Hill lobbying in support of this legislation...We would hope that this is a first step. Our hope is that by increasing the awareness of our colleagues here in Congress and of the American public that we can not only increase awareness of the disease but begin work towards actual dedicated funding for this."

Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) said, "The purpose of this resolution is to bring awareness to the severity of this devastating disease. Additionally, the resolution will support the goals of National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week and encourage the work being done by the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis and partner organizations in educating the public about IPF."

The CPF is working closely with several Members of Congress to introduce an appropriations request for new IPF funding in the 2009 Federal Budget and has the additional support of more than 20 members of Congress to pursue increased research, awareness and education funding for IPF. "CPF will continue building on the growing support for its work representing patients and physicians by working with Congress to better the lives of patients who are fighting the disease," said Shreve.

"I was pleased the House was able to honor the memory of my good friend Charlie Norwood by passing H. Con. Res. 182 by a unanimous vote. This represented an important step in the fight against the devastating effects of IPF," said Rep. Deal.

The late Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA) was a proponent of increased awareness of IPF following his own struggle with the disease. He championed the cause on behalf of the 128,000 Americans who suffer from IPF until his untimely death in February 2007. Rep. Norwood received a lung transplant in 2004 and subsequently introduced House Concurrent Resolution 178 for the first time in the 109th Congress. Rep. Deal committed to introduce the legislation again this year, in an effort to bring attention to the disease while also honoring Congressman Norwood's work.

"Pulmonary fibrosis is an often overlooked degenerative and debilitating disease," said Congressman Baird. "My own father died of this disease, and my good friend and colleague Charlie Norwood died just a few months ago. We must aggressively pursue and support research opportunities into the causes of the disease, a treatment, and eventual cure. It is my hope that with passage of this resolution we can increase awareness about this devastating disease."

The Senate version of the resolution was authored by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and passed in July.

What is a Concurrent Resolution?

Concurrent Resolutions are used for expressing facts, principles, opinions, and purposes of the two Houses of Congress - the House of Representatives and the Senate. On approval by both Houses, they are signed by the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate and transmitted to the Archivist of the United States for publication in a special part of the Statutes at Large volume covering that session of Congress.

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

IPF is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring - known as fibrosis - and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer from IPF, and there is currently no known cause or cure. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. IPF is difficult to diagnose and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.

About the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), while educating, supporting, and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into new approaches to treat and cure pulmonary fibrosis; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of IPF issues; and works to improve awareness of IPF in the medical community as well as the general public. The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 13,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with pulmonary fibrosis. For more information please visit or call (888) 222-8541.

SOURCE Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
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