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U.S. Senate approves landmark biomedical innovations legislation

Already approved by the U.S. House, the bill heads to President Obama’s desk
December 07, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate passed biomedical innovations legislation known as the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 94-5. The legislation outlines provisions to increase funding of the National Institutes of Health, modernize clinical trials, and accelerate the rate of innovations, including the development of personalized and precision medicines. The House gave its approval to the legislation by a vote of vote of 392-26 and it now heads to President Obama for his signature.
 
Autism Speaks worked closely with grassroots advocates and champions in Congress to include provisions that would accelerate biomedical innovations for individuals with autism and improve patient input in the drug approval process.
 
The 21st Century Cures Act was authored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX). 
 
“After three years, our legislative work is finally complete. 21st Century Cures is ready for the president,” said Upton and DeGette. “With this innovation game-changer, a new day for medical research is on the horizon. Today’s vote is for patients and their loved ones. We all have more reason for hope.” 
 
The Obama administration applauded the legislation in a statement from the White House Press Secretary after the legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives, indicating the President’s intention to sign the legislation and urging the Senate to act soon. The statement highlighted that the legislation “invests nearly $3 billion to continue the President’s signature biomedical research initiatives, the BRAIN and Precision Medicine Initiatives, over the next decade to tackle diseases like Alzheimer’s and create new research models to find cures and better target treatments.” The statement added that, “It further advances the drug approval process by taking steps like modernizing clinical trial design and better incorporating patients’ voices into FDA’s decision-making processes.”