Friday, November 25, 2016
Billy Long: 21st Century Cures Act would have positive impact on society
On May 22, 2015, I cosponsored a piece of legislation that I knew would have a huge impact not only on Missouri’s 7th Congressional District, but on medical research for many years to come by taking aim at the thousands of rare disease that still do not have cures. This bill is known as the 21st Century Cures Act.
This piece of legislation passed the House on July 10, 2015, with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The 21st Century Cures Act would have numerous positive impacts on society, some of those being: removing barriers that would allow an increase in research collaboration, identifying diseases earlier through more personalized medicine, modernizing clinical trials, increasing incentives for those who develop drugs for rare diseases and creating jobs at home. Finally, it would reduce the deficit by over $500 million.
This bill won’t just help those affected by diseases, but the American public as a whole. In the early 1950s polio was having a significant impact in America, infecting more than 20,000 people and killing 3,000 people in a single year. Soon after, a vaccine was found for polio that essentially eliminated the disease. Estimates have shown that the United States saved $800 billion since finding a cure.
That’s just one instance of a vaccine not only helping those infected by the disease, but those not affected as well.
This legislation didn’t come from Washington insiders, it came from talking with people all across the country and hearing stories from people who have had loved ones affected by rare diseases that still don’t have a cure. This bill would cut through all of the bureaucratic red tape and allow for real innovation.
21st Century Cures has the potential to have a significant impact on the United States and could save millions of lives.
My hope is that this bill will be taken up by the Senate, passed and on the president’s desk by the end of this session.