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Experts Agree: 21st Century Cures Act is Good for Patients, Researchers and Economy

Cures 2015Washington, DC, August 26, 2015 ― On July 10, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in support of the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6).

The legislation, 352 pages long, includes a number of provisions to help accelerate the development of new cures and treatments, support scientists, and unleash a new generation of research.  In addition, H.R. 6 provides a needed, temporary boost of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help carry out these policies.

Experts from around the United States continue to voice their support for the 21st Century Cures Act.

Peter Pitts, a former associate commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, writes in Roll Call:

“More than just a measure to provide needed funding, though, the 21st Century Cures Act would create a more streamlined drug approval system by revolutionizing procedures for clinical trials.  The new rules would make bringing a medication to market less expensive, less time consuming, and more predictable.  The result will be that medications will cost less and patients will have access to them sooner.”

Pitts continues, “There’s no doubt that the 21st Century Cures Act would vastly improve the biopharmaceutical drug development process.  In addition to funding more basic research and streamlining approvals, the bill would open up opportunities for further improvements as researchers realize the potential from sharing big data.”

The Duke Chronicle explains how the funding boost in 21st Century Cures will help young scientists begin their careers in research:

“The 21st Century Cures Act aims to boost funds for basic science research, spur innovation and invest in the next generations of scientists.  The ‘Innovation Fund’ sets aside $1.75 billion for the NIH each year for the next five years and $110 million annually for the FDA.  The partly restored flow of funding will allow larger grants to be awarded to more researchers—especially younger investigators.”

The Chronicle continues, “The bill also hopes to incentivize the development of drugs for rare diseases, remove barriers that block sharing of health data for research, modernize clinical trials and direct funding toward several critical areas of research—including Alzheimer’s disease, precision medicine, the president’s BRAIN initiative and antibiotic resistance.”

Steven Patierno, the deputy director of the Duke Cancer Institute, “compared the government setting specific targets for biomedical research to NASA announcing efforts to get to the moon or sending a spacecraft to Pluto.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) started the 21st Century Cures process nearly two years ago, bringing a conversation to Washington that had been occurring among patients and researchers around the country.

After more than a year of listening to these experts and bringing them together to one table, the effort garnered overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

The Chronicle notes that the, “bipartisan support exhibited by the House of Representatives reflects politicians’ increasing awareness of the importance of research and health.”

Share why 21st Century Cures matters to you on social media using #Cures2015 or #Curesin4Words.