(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) signed on as an original cosponsor of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act, which would provide for the creation of a national Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) Registry, a PF Action Plan, and encourage the expansion of PF research efforts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"Pulmonary Fibrosis has devastated so many families across the country, and we need to keep working to eradicate this terrible disease once and for all," said Senator Patty Murray. "I am proud to cosponsor this critical legislation that will educate the public about this disease and will help PF patients and their families in my home state of Washington and across the country."
Pulmonary Fibrosis is a relentlessly progressive, and ultimately fatal, condition in which the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. As the condition worsens, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream, resulting in less oxygen for the brain and other organs. There is no known cause of PF, it has no cure, and there are currently no FDA-approved treatments. Currently, the median survival rate for a person with PF is only around three years, and the disease kills roughly 40,000 people every year in the United States. That translates into someone with PF dying every 13 minutes.
As the prevalence of PF is on the rise, up at least 150% since 2001, it is becoming increasingly important to better understand the origin, incidence, and effectiveness of therapies as they relate to Pulmonary Fibrosis. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act is a crucial first step in combating this debilitating disease. This bill will make sure health care professionals have the information they need to make accurate diagnoses of their patients, catching PF in the early stages and allowing for earlier treatment.