21st Century Cures Act Passes U.S. Senate

December 08, 2016
The U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 94 to 5. This legislation, which aims to increase the speed of research, bring drugs to market more quickly, and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration, now goes to President Obama who is expected to sign it into law.
For those with MS, the act contains a key provision. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition (of which MSF is a member), “The MSC specifically applauds the inclusion of H.R. 292 as a provision of the Act, the goal of which is to establish a data system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis.”
This provision will help advance MS research by establishing a data system to collect the size and makeup of the MS population. Currently, no one has an accurate account of how many people in the United States have MS or the demographic characteristics of those living with MS. As a result, MS researchers are working at a distinct disadvantage because they are operating without basic information about the disease. By establishing this data system, researchers will be supplied data that may point to new environmental triggers, which could lead to a better understanding of the disease and new disease targets.
In a statement, released on the White House website, President Obama said, “The bipartisan passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is an example of the progress we can make when people from both parties work together to improve the health of our families, friends and neighbors. … This bill will make a big difference, and I look forward to signing it as soon as it reaches my desk.”
For more information, visit http://energycommerce.house.gov/cures.

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