Press Release

21st Century Cures passes U.S. House with a boost for medical research

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Washington, December 1, 2016 | comments
Medical researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center and University of South Florida are likely beneficiaries as are families who struggle with cancer, Alzheimer's and opioid addiction of the 21st Century Cures legislation that passed last night in the U.S. House with overwhelming bipartisan support, announced U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14).
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Medical researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center and University of South Florida are likely beneficiaries as are families who struggle with cancer, Alzheimer's and opioid addiction of the 21st Century Cures legislation that passed last night in the U.S. House with overwhelming bipartisan support, announced U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14). 

The 21st Century Cures bill includes $1.5 billion for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, $1.8 billion for Vice President Biden’s cancer “moonshot” initiative, $1.5 billion for a program focused on enhanced understanding of brain-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and $1 billion for communities struggling with opioid addiction.

“These initiatives will save lives and provide hope for the cures of tomorrow,” U.S. Rep. Castor said. “Plus, because Tampa Bay is home to prestigious research institutes and a growing biomedical sector, such investments should boost higher-wage jobs.”

View all of U.S. Rep. Castor’s remarks made on the House floor yesterday on the need for America to remain on the cutting edge of medical innovation and increase higher-wage jobs.

Dr. Bill Dalton, CEO of M2Gen, a Moffitt Cancer Center biotechnology company, also expressed support for these initiatives included in the 21st Century Cures bill: “In this time of unprecedented promise in medical research and innovation, we are especially grateful for the infusion of funding to the NIH that the Cures bill would bring. It will allow us to seize the scientific opportunities that lie before us, especially in exciting areas such as Precision Medicine Initiative and the cancer ‘moonshot’ program.”

In addition, the legislative package includes the bipartisan Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act, which was introduced by U.S. Reps. Castor and Herrera Beutler (R-WA).

“The Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act ensures that expectant mothers and their doctors have adequate and accurate information about medications used during pregnancy and when nursing to facilitate the best health outcomes,” U.S. Rep. Castor said. “Experts advised that we need focused research to assess the risks of current medications on the market to mothers and babies. U.S. Rep. Herrera Beutler has been a champion for families and I am grateful to her for leading this effort to improve the quality of data and information on medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”

While new investments in research are welcome, U.S. Rep. Castor expressed concern that the Cures bill does not address the price hikes of prescription drugs, especially after many lawmakers recently called out Mylan corporation during a congressional hearing for its outrageous price increases of EpiPen:  “Life-saving treatments should not be out of reach for our neighbors. This should have been opportunity to stand up for families and consumers by reigning in record-setting prescription drug spending.”

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