publication date: May. 15, 2015

21st Century Cures Passes House Subcommittee


The 21st Century Cures bill—a bipartisan initiative aimed at streamlining development of drugs and medical devices—received unanimous approval May 14 from the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Congressional leaders expect a full committee markup next week, and a floor vote in June.

The discussion draft was introduced by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-N.J.), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-Texas).

The legislation is widely celebrated in the biomedical research community. If passed, NIH would receive $10 billion over five years through a provision called the NIH Innovation Fund (The Cancer Letter, May 1).

“This bill does so much more,” DeGette said in a statement. “It invests in advancing research to foster the future of science, it modernizes clinical trials, it encourages improvements in the drug and device approval process, it supports the development of new drugs and devices to address areas of unmet need, and it advances the important concept of precision medicine.”

On May 13, 180 organizations—academic research institutions, scientific and professional societies—signed a letter in support of the NIH Innovation Fund, which was included in the updated discussion draft published the same day.

The full text of the letter, spearheaded by Research!America, is available on their website.

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