Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act, by an overwhelming vote of 392 to 26:
"The real winners today are American families whose lives stand to be improved by the Cures legislation passed overwhelmingly today by the House and that we should pass by a wide margin in the Senate. This bipartisan legislation - which Majority Leader McConnell has called "the most important legislation Congress will pass this year" - will help us take advantage of the breathtaking advances in biomedical research and bring those innovations to doctors' offices and patients' medicine cabinets around the country. This legislation will advance Vice-President Biden's moonshot to find cures for cancer, President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative, and Alzheimer's research - and it will help states in the fight against opioid abuse and the one in five adults in this country suffering from a mental illness. It's time for the Senate to deliver on the promise of 21st Century Cures for patients."
Last week, House and Senate health committee leaders released the 21st Century Cures Act. The Senate will take up this legislation, sponsored by Alexander and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), early next week.
The 21st Century Cures agreement will:
- Help bring safe drugs and devices to market more quickly and at less cost by making needed reforms to the FDA, including: expedited review for breakthrough devices, increased patient involvement in the drug approval process, a streamlined review process for combination products that are both a drug and device, and freedom from red tape for software like fitbits or calorie counting apps.
- Provide $4.8 billion to National Institutes of Health, including: $1.8 billion for Vice President Biden's "Cancer Moonshot" to speed cancer research; $1.4 billion for President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative to drive research into the genetic, lifestyle and environmental variations of disease; and $1.6 billion for the BRAIN initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer's and speed diagnosis and treatment.
- Provide $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration.
- Provide $1 billion in grants to states to address the opioid crisis.
- Address the country's mental health crisis and help the one out of five adult Americans suffering from mental illness receive the care they need.
For more information about the 21st Century Cures Act, click here.