Representatives Kyrsten Sinema and David Schweikert introduced a bill last week that, if it passes, will increase the funding that’s available for valley fever research. The bill supports new research and incentivizes the development of innovative treatments to fight the disease. The bill would:
- Provide incentives to researchers working to find new treatments for Valley Fever;
- Streamline the approval and review process for new treatments of the disease;
- Direct HHS to conduct research on Valley Fever and sets up a Valley Fever Advisory Committee to oversee the work; and
- Establish a grant program to facilitate Valley Fever research by universities, hospitals, and non-profits.
Valley fever (Coccidiomycosis) treatment research funds are extremely limited, in part, because it’s a regional illness (unique to the desert southwest). If the entire country were susceptible to the illness, there would probably be more private research funds invested because there would be a large commercial market for a treatment.
Basically, that’s why we need an investment of federal funds and policy, because the return on the research investment for valley fever isn’t adequate to recoup costs of developing a treatment because not enough people are susceptible to the illness (because it’s limited to the desert southwest).