WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roger Wicker (R-MS)  introduced bipartisan legislation to help improve the lives of patients with muscular dystrophy. The bill would reauthorize the Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research & Education (MD CARE) Act,which supports medical research and policies to boost life expectancy and quality of life for muscular dystrophy patients. Earlier this week, Klobuchar and Wicker joined Olympic gold-medal winning swimmer Ryan Lochte at an event to highlight the important role the MD CARE Act plays in improving care and developing new therapies for patients.

“For families living with muscular dystrophy, the latest treatments can make a real difference in quality of life,” Klobuchar said. “The MD CARE Act is vital to preserving the gains we’ve made over the past years and ensuring that cutting edge treatments will be available for current and future patients.”

“Before the MD CARE Act became law, the majority of funding for muscular dystrophy was directed at the cost of care for children with the disease, not for research to find a cure,”said Wicker, who sponsored the original MD CARE Act while he was a member of the House of Representatives. “Today, research is yielding new drugs and promising approaches for treatment of the disease.  The average lifespan of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common form of muscular dystrophy, has increased by about a decadesince enactment of MD CARE.  Reauthorizing the MD CARE Act is important to continuing these advances.”

The MD CARE Act was originally enacted in 2001 and was reauthorized in 2008. Klobuchar lead the 2008 reauthorization which passed Congress with unanimous consent. The bill supports medical research and public health policies designed to improve quality of life and boost life expectancy of children and adults diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The MD CARE Reauthorization Act of 2013 continues this support and works to ensure that efforts are focused on the most critical needs of doctors, patients, and researchers.