Wicker Praises Senate Reauthorization of Muscular Dystrophy Bill

Senate Renews Legislation Wicker Authored in 2001, the MD-CARE Act

September 26, 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today praised Senate action to reauthorize legislation he authored in 2001 to help find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  The bill, the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance Research and Education (MD-CARE) Act, was unanimously agreed to by the Senate.

“This is a great achievement for the U.S. Senate, and an even greater achievement for the thousands of boys across the country with Duchenne,” Wicker said.  “I became involved in the fight against DMD seven years ago when a Mississippian whose son had recently been diagnosed visited me at my office.  The MD-CARE Act provided needed funding and interest in research.  With this reauthorization, we can build on that momentum and continue working toward a cure.”

Wicker’s MD-CARE Act of 2001 specified a number of provisions for expanding and intensifying research on muscular dystrophy.  The law directed the National Institutes of Health to establish six centers of excellence and a government wide Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee to ensure collaboration and unity of efforts.  It also directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand data collection on muscular dystrophy. 

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood.  It affects one in every 3,500 boys born in America, equally affecting all races and cultures.  The disease causes a progressive loss of muscle strength, leading to loss of mobility and serious problems related to their heart and lungs.  Young men with DMD can live into their late twenties.

The House of Representatives is also expected to approve the legislation this week, sending it to the president to be signed into law.