When it comes to lupus, greater awareness and understanding are sorely needed. We know this all too well from our Lupus Summit earlier this year.
In case you didn’t know, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the immune system in which the body creates antibodies that attack its own tissue. Because it is often misdiagnosed, under-diagnosed, and misunderstood, lupus does not receive the level of attention it deserves from the general public and policymakers. That’s why we were pleased to see US Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson’s recent op-ed, “Lupus is not arthritis,” noting that lupus research is underfunded relative to the disease’s impact.
Rep. Johnson also called on her Congressional colleagues to “work together to fund scientific efforts to find the cause, better treatments, and ultimately a cure for this devastating disease.” US Representative Robin Kelly echoed this sentiment with a recent statement calling for greater awareness of and research on “one of America’s least recognized major diseases.”
GSK was honored to be invited to participate in a “Lupus 101” briefing for Congressional staff hosted by the Lupus Foundation of America and the Congressional Lupus Caucus earlier this year. Paige Nelson, former National Director of the GSK Immunology Disease Educator team, was asked to speak about the challenges of managing lupus, US in Lupus and talkSLE – free, GSK-designed resources intended to help lupus patients and health care providers, respectively, better understand this condition and make the most of interactions with one another.
We are proud to stand with lupus patients, the health care community, and concerned lawmakers like Representative Johnson and Representative Kelly in the battle against this debilitating disease. As Paige stated at the Congressional briefing, “GSK is committed to helping patients and healthcare providers to raise awareness and fight the impact of lupus.”