Advocacy

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Advocacy and Public Policy

The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy (FPN) works to support public policies that benefit people with peripheral neuropathy. Advocacy and public policy work are important for advancing research into finding new treatments and, ultimately, cures for peripheral neuropathy. FPN advocates for federal and state legislation as well as regulatory actions that will eventually benefit PN patients. We are working to ensure patients have access to high-quality, affordable, evidence-based care and treatments and also to ensure that more funding is available for PN researchers.

Our Policy Targets

The Foundation works with key stakeholders to help shape legislation and regulations that impact people with peripheral neuropathy. While priority issues vary from year to year, our main focus is advancing research on peripheral neuropathy. We support efforts to increase the federal investment in research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD), in order to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy Research at DoD

In 2020, Congress for the first time included “peripheral neuropathy” as an eligible condition for study through a $370 million fund administered by the DoD known as the “Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP).” This important breakthrough was a direct result of the nationwide advocacy of the peripheral neuropathy community, led by the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy.

In the first year for PN eligibility, the PRMRP received more than 1,000 applications for all eligible conditions. 41 focused on PN. Eight of those 41 projects were successful and resulted in more than $8 million in funding. Please click here for a list of the 2021 PRMRP Awarded Projects for peripheral neuropathy.

In 2022, three of 28 applications were awarded funding totaling more than $4.6 million for PN grants.

For more information about the FY23 PRMRP, for which PN has been renewed once again for a $370 million fund, visit https://cdmrp.health.mil/funding/prmrp and see deadlines listed below.

Please make note of the FY23 award mechanisms and pre-application deadlines:

  • Clinical Trial (no $ limit): April 12
  • Discovery ($200,000 maximum): March 29
  • Focused Program ($7.2 million maximum): April 12
  • Investigator-Initiated Research Award ($1.6 million maximum): April 19
  • Lifestyle and Behavioral Health Interventions ($3 million maximum): April 19
  • Technology/Therapeutic Development ($2 million): April 19

Most of the full applications are due April 26 and July 19, 2023, depending on the grant mechanism.

Learn more about this program, how to apply, how applications are evaluated and other details of this year’s grant cycle from the DOD Program Manager in FPN’s March 8 webinar on Expanded Opportunities for PN Researchers.

Background Information:

PN being renewed for another year will allow our research community to apply for funding from a federal program to which they previously did not have access. The PRMRP is specifically focused on high-risk, high-reward research that will lead to new, tangible outcomes such as new therapeutics and treatments.

Every year, Congress determines the conditions that are eligible for study through the PRMRP by listing them in the Senate version of the annual Defense Appropriations Act. However, conditions are not automatically renewed year-to-year, and advocacy is required every year to ensure that members of Congress remain supportive.

FPN is working closely with senators again in 2023 to ensure that peripheral neuropathy is included in the Defense Appropriations Act for a fourth consecutive year, that will be considered by Congress next year (for fiscal year 2024 funding).

To learn more about the importance of maintaining the designation of peripheral neuropathy in the PRMRP, download this fact sheet.

Learn how to contact your own representatives (pdf link opens in new tab), pdf link opens in a new tab. Because of the importance of this research to the veterans’ community, the request to include peripheral neuropathy in the PRMRP has been endorsed by the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Veterans for Common Sense (pdf link opens in new tab).

How Else Can You Get Involved?

Advocacy is speaking out on issues that you care about or offering your opinion and suggestions for how to improve something to the people who are in control. It is important for policymakers to hear directly from you about your experiences. You can take several steps toward advocating for increased research funding for peripheral neuropathy. Contact your senators today and ask them to ensure that peripheral neuropathy is maintained as an eligible condition in the PRMRP. Download a sample letter here, pdf link opens in a new tab.
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FPN's Resource Library

The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy is the leader in providing resources to patients, caregivers, and physicians.

FPN’s Resource Library contains educational brochures, newsletters, transcripts and videos that cover many topics from treatments to research updates to the numerous causes of peripheral neuropathy.

We hope that you find our Resource Library to be of help to you and your loved ones.