New Law Boosts Fight Against Sickle Cell Disease

A sickle cell disease prevention and treatment program in the United States has been reauthorized to receive nearly $5 million each year over the next five years.

The measure was included in a bipartisan bill that aims to combat the disease and became law Tuesday night. One of the bill's authors was Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J.

"Even though sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in our country, research and treatment lags behind that of other chronic illnesses," Booker said in a statement, NBC News reported.

"Our legislation will help find new ways to improve the lives of people suffering from sickle cell disease. It's time we start treating sickle cell disease as a serious and debilitating illness and allocate adequate resources to monitoring, researching, and treating it," Booker said.

This year, the National Institutes of Health received about $115 million for research into the disease this year, $6 million more than in 2017, NBC News reported.

Sickle cell is an inherited lifelong disease that affects 100,000 Americans -- mainly blacks, Hispanics and other minority groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 13 African-American babies are born with the disease, which can affect blood flow to organs or tissues.

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