ADEA Washington Update

Senate HELP Committee Marks Up Innovation Bills

(Research, Legislation, House, Senate, Gene Manipulation, NIH, Research) Permanent link   All Posts

futureofmedicineThe Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has held its final hearing on legislation that will be a companion bill to H.R. 6, the House 21st Century Cures Act.

The April 6 hearing was the third one involving 19 bipartisan bills designed to speed up the process of making innovative treatments available more quickly.

Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he hoped to send the bills to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell soon for consideration by the full Senate. He said the set of bills would be “the most important new law enacted this year” because of the legislation’s broad impact on virtually every American.

“The House has done its work,” said Alexander in a statement. “I am hopeful we can take this to the Senate floor soon and ensure the president’s Precision Medicine and cancer ‘moonshot’ initiatives and ideas in the ‘Cures’ bill can become reality this year.”

The cancer “moonshot” aims to speed up the development of cancer cures, treatments and prevention efforts, while the precision medicine initiative targets therapies by taking into account an individual’s lifestyle, environment and genes.

The Senate mark-up included five bills designed to, among other things, modernize the NIH, codify the precision medicine initiative, improve the interoperability of electronic health records and include more women and minority population groups in NIH research.

“Members of this committee have found common ground on ways to strengthen our nation’s health IT infrastructure, support the next generation of scientists and researchers and help incorporate patient feedback into FDA decision-making, just to name a few,” the committee’s top Democrat, Washington State Sen. Patty Murray said in her opening remarks at the hearing. “I’m very hopeful that those conversations will continue and that we’ll be able to reach a strong bipartisan result.” 

Duggan ad 2013