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