publication date: Dec. 19, 2014

Congress Plans to Accelerate Development of Drugs, Devices


The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is spearheading legislation aimed streamlining development of drugs and medical devices.

The bipartisan initiative, called “21st Century Cures,” was launched April 30, and is led by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the committee, and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), chief deputy whip.

“We’re taking the first comprehensive look—by the Congress—at the full arc of accelerating the cures from the discovery of clues and basic science to streamlining the drug development process, to unleashing the power of digital medicine and social media at the treatment delivery phase,” Upton said at the 2014 Friends-Brookings Conference on Clinical Cancer Research, an annual meeting co-hosted by Friends of Cancer Research and the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution.

“We’ve got, I want to say, four or five pretty extensive white papers, generating ideas and thoughts. We want input on how we can better utilize digital medicine, asking patients about their diseases so that we know how we can help.”

Upton said the committee has been working with advocacy organizations and other stakeholders, including NIH Director Francis Collins, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

“Our goal is, again, to have a discussion draft by mid-January or so, not too late after that,” Upton said. “Then, after we sit down with Ellen [Sigal, chairperson and founder of FOCR], introduce the bill. Our idea is to move it through the committee before the end of March and have it on the floor before Memorial Day. We’re reaching out … Continue reading 40-47 Congress Plans to Accelerate Development of Drugs, Devices

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