As part of the Better Way health care agenda, we laid out a plan to accelerate the development of cutting-edge cures and treatments. Right now, there are 10,000 known diseases, but we only have treatments for 500 of them. The 21st Century Cures Act, which the House will take up today, seeks to close this gap. Its passage would mean:
- More help and hope for patients by accelerating life-saving and life-improving therapies.
- Fewer barriers that stand in the way of research and development.
- A more inclusive approach for patient feedback during the drug development process.
- A focus on personalized medicine that identifies the best treatments for a patient’s specific needs.
- Significant reforms to our mental health system—the most in more than a decade.
It’s important to note that any new funding in this legislation will be fully offset. We have also made this discretionary spending subject to annual review in order to maximize accountability for taxpayers.
Today’s vote is the culmination of a national effort under the leadership of Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Starting in 2013, Chairman Upton and his committee took ideas and stories from all walks of life. They held countless hearings and roundtables. They picked up support from hundreds of organizations. It is a story that can be told in 109 seconds, but for many families, the impact of this work will last a lifetime.