Nov. 20 Wraps Up National Bladder Health Week

Bladder Health Week wraps up today after a week of national public education sponsored by the Bladder Health Council of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease.

Every day, millions of men, women and children suffer in silence with debilitating urologic conditions. Even though urologic diseases and disorders cost patients, their families and the health care system tens of billions of dollars a year, research into this health science area is lacking, according to the Bladder Health Council.

Experts in the field claim that costs and suffering will only increase without additional research.

Legislation pending before Congress would create a new division at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive & Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK-NIH). The bill, the Training and Research in Urology (TRU) Act, would direct the NIH to develop a national urologic research plan, manage government agency activities in urology research and training, create 10 new dedicated research centers and cultivate a larger pool of talented physicians and researchers to the field.

The TRU Act has the bipartisan support of 26 representatives (H.R. 944) and eight Senators (S.258). HME providers can lend voices as constituents and make the TRU Act a reality for end-users and help shorten the list of millions who suffer each day.

On Sept. 26, 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives approved 414 to 2 a bill that would reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH has not been reauthorized since 1993.

Most important to the urology community is that the bill allows the director of NIH, with the approval of the secretary of Health and Human Services, to reorganize the national research institutes and the national centers. This greatly increases the chances of the addition of a Division of Urology at NIDDK-NIH, a major goal of the TRU Act.

Other elements of the bill include an effort to encourage research that involves cooperation among the agency's many disease-based centers, establishment of a "common-fund" equal to 5 percent of the NIH budget to sponsor research, and a 5 percent annual increase for NIH's budget for fiscal years 2007-2010.

For more information, visit

This article originally appeared in the November 2006 issue of HME Business.

HME Business Podcast