SDP: A critical partner

The Special Diabetes Program (SDP) is a federally funded program that provides $160 million annually to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the country’s premier medical research agency, for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The SDP perfectly complements Breakthrough T1D’s research efforts. 

Thanks to the SDP, we are learning new insights and advancing new therapies that are improving the lives of people with diabetes today and accelerating progress to cures.

The program remains strong today thanks to the leadership of our bipartisan champions in Congress—Senate Diabetes Caucus Co-chairs Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Congressional Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).”

Lynn Starr

Breakthrough T1D Chief Global Advocacy Officer

A history of progress

Powered by bipartisanship

Congress created the SDP in 1997, thanks to the bipartisan leadership of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, after a Congressional Diabetes Research Working Group reported serious limitations in diabetes research—for T1D in particular—largely due to inadequate funding. 

The SDP consists of two initiatives: one to advance T1D research at NIH and the other to fund treatment, education, and prevention programs for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, who are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes.

Accelerating research

Since its inception, the SDP has shown tangible results by helping scientists make significant advances in cure therapies, prevention studies, and treatments—including artificial pancreas technology and groundbreaking progress in vision improvement among people with diabetic eye disease. The program is an essential component of the overall Federal investment in diabetes research and demonstrates a real return on investment annually.

Multi-year funding of the SDP is essential to continuing large-scale trials, proactively planning next steps for research programs, and allocating research dollars most effectively. Our continued engagement with Congress on SDP renewal is critical to achieve these outcomes for the T1D community.

Powered by Breakthrough T1D

Decades of advocacy

Breakthrough T1D has relentlessly championed the SDP since it was formed—and continues to do so. We are the program’s leading advocate. 

Renewing this program is one of our top legislative priorities because it funds a breathtaking amount of T1D research. 

That research has contributed to drugs and devices that the T1D community is benefiting from today.

Advances made possible by the SDP

Tandem Control IQ
Dexcom 6
Abbot Freestyle Libre
Omnipod 5
Gucagon Gvoke