Senate HELP advanced medical innovation bills
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held its third and final markup on a series of medical innovations bills, designed to complement House-passed 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6). The bills are focused on getting new medicine and treatments to patients more quickly.
The committee passed five bipartisan bills:
- S. 185 — Shortens development of new treatments to help people infected with superbugs
- S. 2713 — Maps genomes and makes genomes more readily available for researchers
- S. 2745 — Promotes inclusion of minorities in clinical research
- S. 2700 — Helps FDA and NIH attract and retain top talent
- S. 2742 — Decreases time spent by NIH researchers on administrative tasks
In total, Senate HELP has advanced 19 medical innovation bills. Previously passed bills address rare diseases, research for neurological diseases, voucher program for rare pediatric diseases, and medical devices. This package of bills contains more than 50 bipartisan proposals.
Lawmakers have not reached a deal on the biggest item of debate: additional funding for the National Institute of Health.
According to Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander, “The House has done its work. The president has proposed his initiatives. 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 House version, 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6), passed with overwhelming approval last July.