U.S. House passes 21st Century Cures Act

In a 392-26 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives on November 30 passed the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation that will invest $6.3 billion in public health initiatives.

The measure will provide $1 billion in state grants to battle the opioid epidemic, as well as support medical research for cancer; speed the approval of medications, medical devices, and experimental medical techniques; and reform the way the federal government delivers mental health treatment.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) praised the House's action, lauding the $1.8 billion in funding it will provide for cancer research, particularly for the National Cancer Moonshot initiative. It urged the Senate to follow suit, and for Congress as a whole to also enact U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding increases previously put forth by House and Senate appropriations committees.

"On behalf of the American Association for Cancer Research, we offer our sincere appreciation to members of the House of Representatives for passing the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures) on Wednesday," said AACR President Dr. Nancy Davidson in a statement. "We urge the Senate to also pass the bill. It is also vitally important that the National Institutes of Health receive robust, sustained, and predictable funding increases through the regular appropriations process. Therefore, funds included in Cures must supplement, not supplant, the significant NIH funding increases that were proposed by both the House and Senate appropriations committees earlier this year."

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