Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a member of the House Cancer Caucus, spoke on the House Floor to recognize National Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month and to advocate for increased funding for medical research and passage of H.R. 1801, the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act

The text of Higgins’ remarks is below:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise to recognize March as National Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month.

Myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that can have a variety of effects on the body, ranging from bone pain to organ failure. The National Cancer Institute estimates that over 22,000 new cases will be diagnosed and 11,000 deaths will occur due to myeloma this year.

While myeloma is not curable, it is treatable. I thank my colleagues, Congressman Bachus and Congressman Rangel, for drafting a resolution to establish March as National Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, and the International Myeloma Foundation for raising awareness of this disease year-round.

Additionally, as Congress begins to develop a budget I encourage strong support for medical research and increasing funding to the National Institutes of Health to $32 billion.

Finally, I urge the House leadership to bring the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act to the Floor, a bill I introduced to make sure that patients with myeloma and other cancers who are prescribed oral chemotherapy by their doctors will have the insurance coverage they need to treat their illness and to get healthy.

Higgins is an outspoken advocate of fully funding medical research and a strong supporter of the innovative research underway in Western New York, including at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.