On June 22, we led delegations of advocates in a full day of virtual congressional meetings to push Congress to support and pass critical legislation that will help the ALS community, including funding for ALS research and making expanded access to telehealth permanent -- 320 ALS Association staff and ALS advocates from 46 states shared their personal stories and experience living with ALS with more than 300 members of Congress and their staff.
Since Mark’s diagnosis in 2000, he has been committed to the fight against ALS on many levels. Over the past 21 years, he has advocated locally at the state level and nationally on Capitol Hill. He’s volunteered at innumerous events with The ALS Association Mid-America Chapter and served on the Chapter’s board and Services Committee. All who know him say his ALS diagnosis does not define him, instead it motivates him to do more and to give hope to others.
It’s going to take all of us working together to make ALS a livable disease and ultimately find a cure. And it will take people like YOU. Whether you have a personal connection to ALS or just want to help make a difference for families impacted by the disease, becoming an advocate is easy.
In order to make ALS a livable disease and ultimately find a cure, it’s going to take people living with ALS, their caregivers, family members and loved ones across the country coming together to pursue public policies that help discover new treatments, empower people living with ALS to live life on their own terms and help reduce harms associated with the disease. In the past 12 months, ALS advocates have seen a number of public policy wins.
It is on us—those who have experienced this disease firsthand, those of us who are living with the disease, those who are serving as caregivers—to determine the value and quality of life with ALS. We need to stand up and object to discriminatory assessments that overlook the most important things that give life value.
Leaders in the fight against ALS held 250 virtual meetings with members of Congress last week to press for an exponential expansion of federal funding for ALS research and programs next year as part of The ALS Association’s annual fly-in conference.
Peter Sawyer of Mechanicsburg, PA is a military veteran and has been living with ALS for five years. He and his wife and caregiver, Lura, are tireless advocates for The ALS Association’s mission and exemplify true ALS heroes.
The ALS Association has formally objected to the use of controversial measures to evaluate ALS drugs that can make it harder to find effective new ALS treatments and get them to the ALS community as quickly as possible. These measures have been identified by the National Council on Disability as being inherently discriminatory against people with disabilities.
In 2016, Troy Fields had everything going for him. A beautiful and growing family. A highly successful and satisfying career that allowed him to travel internationally. But he also started to notice signs that something wasn’t quite right. After treatment for cancer and a battery of other tests, his ALS diagnosis was eventually confirmed. Instead of focusing on what he was going to lose, Troy opted to channel his energies to be an agent of change for the ALS community.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) issued a request for input recently to help guide its work supporting ALS research. The ALS Association is submitting input telling the agency that speed matters. We are encouraging NINDS and the rest of NIH to focus to find ways to use research to advance the health of people with ALS as quickly as possible.
The Institute of Clinical and Economic Review, commonly known as ICER, has opened a review of AMX0035 to determine the cost-effectiveness of the drug. The ALS Association is committed to making sure ICER’s review does not discriminate against people with ALS and that its analysis does not prevent people with ALS from accessing promising treatments.
Thanks to the hard work of ALS advocates, Congress has passed the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies (ACT) for ALS Act after a unanimous vote in the Senate. The bill previously passed in the House 423-2. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Biden.
We asked the FDA to treat the approval review process of AMX0035 with urgency. Specifically, we sent a letter to FDA asking the agency to conduct a Priority Review of Amylyx’s New Drug Application (NDA) for AMX0035 and then approve it. The Priority Review is an expedited review process, as opposed to the Standard Review process, which can take upwards of a year after the agency accepts submission of the NDA.
Amylyx recently filed a New Drug Application for AMX0035, a promising new drug that has proven safe and effective at slowing progression of ALS and extending the life of people living with the disease. The ALS Association has called on the FDA to approve the application with urgency.
Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies (ACT) for ALS (H.R. 3537) was approved by a unanimous vote on Thursday, November 4 in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. Thanks to everyone within the ALS community who has advocated for passage and who has worked on Capitol Hill to help make this important step happen. The strong bipartisan support for this bill means smooth sailing as the bill goes to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee and then the full House for approval.
Unlike most Medicare recipients who need extensive home care and rehabilitative services, people with ALS do not improve, and the intensity of their service needs increase over time. That means standard Medicare cost control approaches don’t work well. I will discuss two examples.
After Amylyx’s announced that it intends to file a new drug application for AMX0035, The ALS Association immediately called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the treatment for all people with ALS as soon as possible. Connecting ALS talked to the team at Amylyx to learn about the path ahead for access to AMX0035.