Published: Thu, December 15, 2016
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

Obama signs bill boosting spending on cancer research

President Barack Obama signed a landmark bill into law on Tuesday to modernize America's biomedical research system. Pallone led Democratic efforts to pass the legislation through the House.

The Cures Act makes significant investments in innovative technologies and research that could find a cure for Alzheimer's, cancer, devastating illnesses or serious mental health issues, and help those who are seeking treatment for opioid addiction. Additionally, it will help allocate $1.8 billion for the Vice President's Cancer Moonshot, $1.5 billion for the President's Precision Medicine Initiative, and $30 million for regenerative medicine using adult stem cells.

"The investments included in the final bill were essential to producing bipartisan support in Congress, which would not have been possible without the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden". Years earlier than it would otherwise be, we're going to have cures for these diseases. The law's cancer provisions are named after Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, who died from cancer previous year.

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The 21st Century Cures Act modifies current medical research and drug development and delivery processes.

The bill also authorizes giving states $1 billion over two years to prevent and treat the abuse of opioids and other addictive drugs like heroin. That funding includes $1.6 billion for the BRAIN Initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer's, our nation's costliest disease.

$500 million to the FDA over 10 years to foster innovation and to help implement numerous provisions in the bill meant to improve FDA's medical product review in order to expedite patient access to important drugs and medical devices.

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