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Washington Update: 21st Century Cures Act

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Washington Update

 21st Century Cures Act: Addressing Health Issues That Touch Almost Every American Life

The legislation known as the 21st Century Cures Act is the result of years of debates over health care policy issues.   This bill which has a $6.3 billion dollar price tag addresses:

  • An increase in funding for research into cancer and other diseases
  • Problems in the nation’s mental health systems
  • Stemming the widespread and intractable problem of opioid drug abuse
  • Potentially far-reaching regulatory changes for drugs and medical devices
  • New funding for the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration

It is encouraging to see that even in this politically charged environment, Republicans and Democrats have been able to reach a compromise to allow a comprehensive mental health reform bill to pass with major new funding to confront the nation’s opioid  crisis, says Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut. [1]

The bill, which will be voted on in a fast track process in the House on Wednesday is expected to be voted on in the Senate next week.  The OPEN ACT has been removed from the larger Cures bill due to concerns about cost.  According to the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases, this is a missed opportunity to help rare disease patients who could benefit from repurposed treatments through additional support for the pharmaceutical industry.  Advocates will continue to try to gain backing for this legislation in 2017.

To access the New York Times article use the following link:


For the full bill and summary use the following link:


[1] www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/us/politics as referenced above



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