The 21st Century Cures Act, a piece of sweeping, bipartisan legislation that aims to transform the ways we can discover, develop, and deliver new treatments and cures, passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and the U.S. Senate yesterday. It is now poised to be signed by President Obama, who has indicated strong support for the measure. This bill prioritizes and invests in scientific innovation and precision medicine at a critical juncture. Although our nation has made incredible strides in cancer prevention, research, treatment, and survivorship, we must build upon those gains through a sustained commitment to the entities and individuals who are vital to the health and wellbeing of our nation.
This legislation has components that will prove critical to patients in need, including those living with cancer. These include:
- $4.8 billion in new funding to the National Institutes of Health to advance programs including the Precision Medicine Initiative ($1.5 billion) and Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot ($1.8 billion). This funding is vital to ensure that our nation’s scientists, researchers, and institutions can continue to work tirelessly to find treatments and cures for diseases such as cancer.
- $500 million in funding to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for regulatory modernization and recruitment efforts
- Translating discoveries into new FDA-approved treatments
- Modernizing clinical trials and the means in which safety and efficacy data are accumulated and analyzed
- Incorporating patients into the regulatory review process
- Improving delivery of medications and devices to the right patients at the right time
- Investing in our nation’s mental health system with the most significant reforms in over a decade
The legislation passed the House by a vote of 392-26 and the Senate by a vote of 94-5. To find out if your Representatives or Senators voted in favor of the Act, click here.
Before the Senate Vote, Senator Mitch McConnell renamed the cancer portion of the bill after Vice President Biden’s son, Beau, who died of a brain tumor in 2015.