From an April 30th Press release From Rep. Upton’s Office: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today announced the launch of 21st Century Cures, a new initiative that aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the United States.
Chairman Upton, along with committee member Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), explain in a new video that over the next several months, members will take a comprehensive look at the full arc of this process – from discovery to development to delivery – to determine what steps we can take to ensure we are taking full advantage of the advances this country has made in science and technology and use these resources to keep America as the innovation capital of the world.
The committee seeks to broadly collaborate with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other agencies, as well as the nation’s patients and scientific pioneers in academia and industry. The committee’s extensive effort will include white papers, roundtables, and hearings, as well as the solicitation of input from interested parties, large and small.
Here are excerpts from the video they released:
Upton: In the 21st century, health care innovation is happening at lightning speed. From the mapping of the human genome to the rise of personalized medicines that are linked to advances in molecular medicine, we have seen constant breakthroughs that are changing the face of disease treatment, management, and cures.
DeGette: Health research is moving quickly, but the federal drug and device approval apparatus is in many ways the relic of another era. We have dedicated scientists and bold leaders at agencies like the NIH and the FDA, but when our laws don’t keep pace with innovation, we all lose.
Upton: If we want to save more lives and keep this country the leader in medical innovation, we have to make sure there’s not a major gap between the science of cures and the way we regulate these therapies.
DeGette: That is why, for the first time ever, we in Congress are going to take a comprehensive look at what steps we can take to accelerate the pace of cures in America. We are looking at the full arc of this process – from the discovery of clues in basic science, to streamlining the drug and device development process, to unleashing the power of digital medicine and social media at the treatment delivery phase.
Upton: We know we don’t have all the answers. That’s why we’re asking questions first. We are listening. We want to know how to close the gaps between advances in scientific knowledge about cures and the regulatory policies created to save more lives.