Letter to Congress Requesting Eczema on FY25 Department of Defense Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program

On April 2, 2024, Julie Block, president and CEO of the National Eczema Association, sent the letter below to Congress.

April 2, 2024

The Honorable Jon Tester
Chairman
Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Defense
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Ken Calvert
Chairman
Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Defense
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515 

The Honorable Susan Collins
Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Defense
U.S. Senate
Washington,
D.C. 20510

The Honorable Betty McCollum
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Defense
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Tester, Chairman Calvert, Ranking Member Collins, and Ranking Member McCollum:

Thank you for your leadership on military health and medical research issues. I write today on behalf of the National Eczema Association (NEA), and the 31 million Americans impacted by eczema, including constituents, to ask that Congress please re-list “eczema” on the annual list of conditions deemed eligible for study through the (DOD) Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) as you and your colleagues work on Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 appropriations. 

As a nonprofit, patient-driven organization, NEA is the driving force for an eczema community fueled by knowledge, strengthened through collective action and propelled by the promise for a better future. As you and your colleagues consider legislative and policy issues during the upcoming session, please consider us a resource on efforts to advance medical research, improve patient care, and address coverage and access challenges.

Eczema was included on the FY 2023 PRMRP eligible conditions list, leading to critical new scientific opportunities for the community. While we are disappointed that eczema was left off the FY 2024 list, we are confident that we can work with you and your colleagues to ensure research efforts at the DOD are reinvigorated for FY 2025. This request is of primary importance to the eczema community as some of the more severe cases of eczema can disqualify a patient from serving in the military unless a waiver is obtained, but one can serve with a mild or well managed case (which is increasingly attainable due to scientific progress). Moreover, as an inflammatory skin condition, there are environmental and additional triggers unique to the military that warrant further study. Further, as eczema can have an onset at any age, and has a second peak of prevalence in adults over age 50, this condition can also impact non-active duty, veterans, and retired military personnel. 

On behalf of NEA, the patients we serve, and the dedicated community of researchers working in this area, please once again include “eczema” in the PRMRP as you advance DOD appropriations for FY 2025. Thank you for your time and for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Julie Block

President & Chief Executive Officer

National Eczema Association

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About the National Eczema Association

Founded in 1988, the National Eczema Association (NEA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the largest patient advocacy organization serving the over 31 million Americans who live with eczema and those who care for them. NEA provides programs and resources to elevate the diverse lived experience of eczema, and help patients and caregivers understand their disease, actively engage in their care, find strength in one another – and improve their lives. Additionally, NEA advances critical eczema research and partners with key stakeholders to ensure the patient voice is represented and valued in education, care and treatment decision-making. The eczema community is at an exciting juncture, with increased recognition of the seriousness and burden of eczema and a surge in scientific interest and development of new treatments. Bolstered by NEA’s strategic plan, Blueprint 2025, we are driving toward the ultimate vision: a world without eczema. Learn more at NationalEczema.org.

Contact:

Amber Whiteside
amber@nationaleczema.org

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