National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Philadelphia, PA – October 5th – The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) strongly supports the Gluten in Medicine Identification Act, introduced on September 30 by US House of Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Nita Lowey (D-NY). Along with other celiac disease organizations, NFCA has long called for gluten to be called out on medication labels or, preferably, completely removed.
In 2013, Rep. Ryan introduced the 2013 Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act, which would mandate that gluten be disclosed as an ingredient on all medication labels. Alice Bast, President and CEO of NFCA applauds the legislation. “From our own FDA-funded research, we know that our celiac disease community is deeply troubled by not having any clear guidance or reassurance that their medications for other ailments don’t in fact, contain gluten. There is a strong fear that a medication that should be treating one condition is actually making them sick and putting them at risk for long term health consequences due to gluten exposure.”
NFCA, a non-profit patient-centric organization dedicated to increasing diagnoses and improving quality of life, while advancing celiac disease research to help protect the celiac disease community, has heard repeatedly from its constituents that undisclosed gluten in medications was making them sick. With the goal of turning anecdotes into documented, quantifiable research, NFCA received a $50,000 grant in 2011 from the FDA to study the prevalence of hidden gluten in medications, the first study of its kind. The Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004, which requires packaged food labels to identify all ingredients containing wheat and other common allergens, was a major landmark for people with celiac disease and food allergies. Yet, no similar requirement exists for medication labels.
“We will continue to fight for accurate labeling and advocate for funding for further research and if appropriate, the elimination of gluten in medications all together,” Bast stated. “Our community’s health and well-being is at stake.”
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness advances widespread understanding of celiac disease as a serious genetic autoimmune condition and works to secure early diagnosis and effective management. We empower our community to live life to the fullest, and serve as a leading and trusted resource that inspires hope, accelerates innovation and forges pathways to a cure.
NFCA is affiliated with the leading researchers internationally and supports collaboration and partnership among scientists and institutions to optimize research potential with the goal of improving the quality of life for those who have celiac disease.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, NFCA is a leading source of free patient resources and industry training programs that not only help people get diagnosed, but also ensure they restore their health and reclaim their lives after diagnosis. For more information, visit www.beyondceliac.org.