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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

Congress Passes 21st Century Cures Act; President Obama Praises Bill to Accelerate Medical Innovation

21st-century-cures-blueWashington, DC, December 8, 2016 — Mike DeBonis reports in The Washington Post that Congress passed sweeping legislation yesterday that boosts funding for medical research, eases the development and approval of experimental treatments and reforms federal policy on mental health care.

The 94 to 5 Senate vote Wednesday followed a 392 to 26 House vote last week.

The bill, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, now heads to the desk of President Obama, who praised the bill Wednesday and said he would sign it.

The bill provides for $4.8 billion in new funding for the National Institutes of Health; of that, $1.8 billion is reserved for the “cancer moonshot” launched by Vice President Biden to accelerate research in that field.

Another $1.6 billion is earmarked for brain diseases including Alzheimer’s. Also included are $500 million in new funding for the Food and Drug Administration and $1 billion in grants to help states deal with opioid abuse.

In a statement released shortly after passage of the bill, President Obama said:

“We are now one step closer to ending cancer as we know it, unlocking cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, and helping people seeking treatment for opioid addiction finally get the help they need.

“The bipartisan passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is an example of the progress we can make when people from both parties work together to improve the health of our families, friends and neighbors.

“The Cures Act makes important investments that will save lives.

“First, for the families and communities that have lost too many loved ones to the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic, it invests the $1 billion I requested in my budget to address this crisis.

“Second, the bill answers the Vice President’s call for a Moonshot in cancer research by investing $1.8 billion in new resources to accelerate discoveries.

“Third, it invests nearly $3 billion to build upon the major biomedical research initiatives we have launched in my Administration — known as the BRAIN and Precision Medicine Initiatives — which are tackling diseases like Alzheimer’s and creating new research models to find cures and better target treatments.

“Fourth, the Cures Act takes important steps to improve mental health, including building on the work of my Administration’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force.

“And fifth, the legislation advances the progress we’ve made in improving the Food and Drug Administration’s drug development process by, for example, making sure patients’ voices are part of those decisions.

“This is a reminder of what we can do when we look out for one another. Like Joe Biden and so many other Americans, I’ve lost people I love deeply to cancer.  I’ve heard often from those whose loved ones are suffering from Alzheimer’s, addiction, and other debilitating diseases. Their heartbreak is real, and so we have a responsibility to respond with real solutions.

“This bill will make a big difference, and I look forward to signing it as soon as it reaches my desk.”