Health bill expected to speed through House
It’s not a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It’s…
…a $6.3 billion piece of legislation on Wednesday designed to spur medical innovation, speed access to new drugs, expand mental health treatment, and combat opioid abuse…
The bill, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, provides $4.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over 10 years to support brain, cancer and precision medicine research. It also provides $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs and devices more quickly.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised to cut “red tape” at the FDA. He has not commented specifically on 21st Century Cures. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week. It is expected to pass, though possibly not before some additional changes are made. It would then go to President Barack Obama for signature.
The bill calls for $1 billion over two years to treat and prevent opioid abuse, including improving prescription drug monitoring programs, training for health care providers, and expanding access to opioid treatment programs.
Critics of the bill, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democrat, said it contains too many give-aways to the pharmaceutical industry and will allow companies to push treatments with limited proof of efficacy.
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