Monday, December 05, 2016

Graves: 21st Century Cures will save lives

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

There are 10,000 known diseases in the world. Somehow, even today, treatment only exists for 500 of those. That is a staggering number, but the House of Representatives and the Senate have been working together to give our healthcare industries the tools to fix it.

Last week, I helped pass the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that streamlines the review of life-saving drugs, provides funding to continue researching cures for rare and deadly diseases, and accelerates critical therapies for at-risk patients across the country.

Specifically, by increasing the speed at which cutting edge or experimental drugs are approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the 21st Century Cures Act breaks down the barriers that have prevented millions of Americans from getting the drug and disease treatments their lives depend on.

This means the FDA maintains responsible safety procedures but can avoid so many of the obstacles they face before getting drugs to patients. The bill also seeks to improve the FAA's decision-making process by bringing in patients to share their experiences and help shape the agency's policies going forward.

All new funding in the 21st Century Cures Act will be fully offset with cuts to previously approved spending. Additionally, all programs will be reviewed annually in order to ensure taxpayers are getting the best and most efficient return possible on this investment.

Thousands of the diseases that are currently “incurable” don’t have to stay that way. We have a unique opportunity to bring our healthcare system into the 21st century, and spur cutting-edge medicines and treatments that can save lives. This bill will allow us to do just that.


Anonymous said...

What good is finding a cure when the cost is prohibitive? The cost of medication must be brought under control or people will still die from not being able to afford the cure. 60 year old chemotherapy drugs may cost you over $100,000.00 even with insurance. People are dying across this country or undergoing severe financial hardship from lack of effort by politicians who could care less.

Anonymous said...

9:42 AM: When the medication no longer has patent protection, the costs go way down.

Without those "prohibitive" costs in the beginning, there would be no new drugs in the first place, and no lives would be saved when they are expensive or cheaper (low volume liquid drugs like most? chemotherapy ones are always going to be fairly expensive, it's inherent in their chemistry, biology and economics). The US is the only place in the world where drug companies can earn back the huge sums they expend in testing and bringing to market new drugs, including those that fail during the testing phases and after marketing. A billion dollars per drug that makes it all the way through the process, last time I checked many years ago, I'm sure it's quite a bit more now.

We should be thankful that enough of our politicians are not insane and eager to kill the Golden Goose for very short term political advantage, even if that would emotionally satisfy you.

Although if you really want a solution here, perhaps God Emperor Trump or a successor who's also aligned with the people and not our dysfunctional ruling class will make enough of the rest of the world pay for new drug development, instead of getting a near free ride off the US.