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House Committee Unveils ’21st Century Cures’ Proposals; Rep. Pallone Expresses Concerns

Washington, DC, January 28, 2015 ― The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on yesterday released an initial 393-page discussion document outlining some specific proposals that have been shared throughout the 21st Century Cures initiative.

According to the committee, this document seeks to continue the important dialogue of the past year, encouraging more discussion from patients, innovators, researchers, care givers, and other experts on the common goal of accelerating the pace of cures in the United States.

This product is the result of the invaluable input shared in response to the five white papers and at the eight hearings and numerous roundtables convened over the past year.

The committee is seeking feedback on the proposals outlined in the document, with continued urgency on behalf of patients who are struggling with diseases today.

The committee will continue on an aggressive schedule to introduce 21st Century Cures legislation and ultimately send a bill to President Obama’s desk for signature by the end of the year.

The document is a starting point in the legislative process to spur discussion.  The inclusion of a policy in this draft should not be seen as an endorsement.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) looks forward to continuing to work with both Republicans and Democrats on ideas to provide additional resources, including to the National Institutes of Health.  Some ideas may be added while other ideas may be dropped as the discussion moves forward, creating an improved final product shaped by this open and transparent process.

In unveiling the document, Chairman Upton said, “Fifteen years into the 21st Century, the time for 21st Century Cures is now.  Throughout this initiative, we have done things differently.  We have been bipartisan from the get-go, we spent a year listening and asking questions, and we have been fully transparent at every step.  Transparency and collaboration have been and will continue to be the hallmarks that drive our success.”

The Hill reported that not everyone is onboard with the proposals.

Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Minority Member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) spoke out against the group, which he said ignores the basic funding needs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)..

“In its current form, I am concerned that the nearly 400 page draft could create more problems for our health care system than it solves,” Congressman Pallone wrote in a statement.  “Increased funding was a common theme during last year’s public engagement, from both sides of the aisle, and is fundamental to truly advancing 21st century cures.”

To view a one-page summary, click here.

To follow #Cures2015 on Twitter, click here.