Medical innovation bill passes senate

By  | 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation that will boost medical innovation in order to accelerate research for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. U.S.

Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) voted for the bill, which was passed overwhelmingly by the House last week and now heads to the president’s desk. Fischer released the following statement after the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 94 to 5:

“I am pleased to see this meaningful medical innovation bill pass the Senate today and head to the president’s desk. Many Nebraskans have shared with me their strong support for Cures and the important steps it takes to enhance research and better treatment for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and drug addiction. Through this bill, we can begin to ease the heartbreak of the families facing these devastating diseases.”

The following Nebraska organizations also shared their support for The 21st Century Cures Act:

Sharon Jensen, Executive Director the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter, released the following statement:
"The passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is a tremendous step forward in accelerating research aimed at developing a cure for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias,” said Sharon Jensen, Executive Director the Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter.  “The Alzheimer's Association stands in solidarity with Senator Fischer and other legislators who envision streamlined treatment options and the integration of the patient's voice and experience in the development of quality medications. Urgent action is needed as this disease grows rapidly, and this act will enable us to respond with greater attention and resources."

Hank Bounds, President of the University of Nebraska, released the following statement:

“The 21st Century Cures Act makes a vital investment in biomedical research that will help maintain the United States’ global competitiveness and advance the life-saving work done by our scientists. In particular, the legislation funds cancer and brain research that is critical to the University of Nebraska’s success. I am grateful to Senator Fischer for her support of this important bill and for University of Nebraska research that will impact lives across our state and beyond.”

Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, released the following statement:
"The Cures Act includes significant funding opportunities to advance potential cures and treatments for cancer cures, precision medicine and better treatment for neurological diseases. This act represents great teamwork of America's academic center leadership and our federal colleagues who support biomedical research. We are very grateful.

“With the opening of the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer at UNMC, the passage of the Cures Act will complement the expansion of cancer research in Nebraska. In addition, the Cures Act offers NSRI (the defense university research center at Nebraska) and The National Center for Health Security at UNMC the chance to further its discussions with the HHS Biomedical Research Development Authority to create an international clinical trial network for highly infectious diseases.”

Key provisions of The 21st Century Cures Act include:

Providing additional funding for innovative cancer research, such as immunotherapy, vaccine development, and genomic analysis of tumor cells and surrounding cells.

Boosting initiatives to improve scientists’ understanding of the brain and ultimately find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Delivering offset funding to address the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic. It also provides grants to states to support their efforts to fight this crisis. 

Cutting red tape at the FDA that is stunting competition in the drug marketplace and driving up drug prices for American families.
Addressing weaknesses in the nation’s mental health system by improving coordination between federal agencies and departments that provide grants and services for individuals with mental illness.