The U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21 st Century Cures Act (HR 6), voting 344-77 in favor of the legislation aimed at accelerating drug discoveries and approvals and promoting research collaboration.
The bipartisan legislation will now move to the Senate. The bill’s sponsors are Fred Upton (R-MI), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-NJ) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX).
“Today, we took a big leap on the path to cures, but we still have much work left to do,” they said in a news release. “The 344 votes today should be a springboard for action. On to the Senate.”
The legislation would provide an additional $1.75 billion per year to the National Institutes of Health for five years and $110 million per year to the FDA for five years. The committee members estimate the bill would reduce the deficit by more than $500 million in the first decade after passage and $7 billion in the second decade.
“Today’s passage of HR 6, the 21 st Century Cures Act, demonstrates the House’s commitment to working together in a bipartisan manner to improve health care in the United States,” American College of Cardiology President Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, said in a statement. “The increased mandatory funding for the NIH drives home the importance of innovation and medical research in the health care community’s efforts to improve patient outcomes through new treatments.”
“The United States has long been a leader in medical research that has advanced patient care throughout the world,” Williams added. “Our health care system – and more importantly our patients – can’t afford for us to become stagnant. This legislation helps address that need. We thank Chairman Upton, Congresswoman DeGette, and their colleagues who spearheaded and advanced this praiseworthy effort.”