Nation’s Top Public Health Leaders Head to Pennsylvania to Continue the #Path2Cures

August 22, 2014

Upton: “The 21st Century Cures effort truly affects every single American and these discussions are a critical part of the process.”

As the Energy and Commerce Committee’s bipartisan 21st Century Cures effort continues its momentum across the country, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) will welcome some of the nation’s top leaders in public health. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will head to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, next Friday, August 29, 2014, to participate in just one of several local roundtables to discuss the discovery, development, and delivery process. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) will also participate.

"The 21st Century Cures effort truly affects every single American and these discussions are a critical part of the process,” said Upton. “The success of this initiative relies on the support, expertise, and ideas from individuals throughout the country. We have been humbled by the outpouring of ideas about how to take full advantage of medical innovation and ultimately, save more lives. I look forward to the continued dialogue in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and I greatly appreciate the invitation from Chairman Pitts. These events that are occurring in the Keystone State and coast to coast will help position our efforts on the path to cures.”

Patient organizations, medical professionals, and academics are participating in roundtables to share ideas, promote medical innovation, and improve legislation to accelerate the pace of cures. FasterCures writes, Demonstrating the committee’s determination to hear from a broad range of stakeholders, here’s a summary thus far: 67 innovators, business executives, and government agencies have spoken at roundtables; 35 leaders in biomedical R&D have provided testimony; 9 healthcare innovation topics have been addressed; 4 white papers have been authored by the committee; 139 organizations have responded to the white papers… FasterCures will continue to track this important initiative that seeks to ensure that the United States remains the leader in biomedical research that benefits our economy, improves lives, and speeds cures to patients.”

August 19, 2014

5 Takeaways from the 21st Century Cures Initiative - Thus Far

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee has engaged in a flurry of activity since the May launch of the 21st Century Cures initiative that aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the United States. The committee has held three roundtables and six Congressional hearings on various topics affecting the full arc of the drug development process – from discovery to development to delivery – as well as published four white papers.

Demonstrating the committee’s determination to hear from a broad range of stakeholders, here’s a summary thus far:

  • 67 innovators, business executives, and government agencies have spoken at roundtables
  • 35 leaders in biomedical R&D have provided testimony
  • 9 healthcare innovation topics have been addressed
  • 4 white papers have been authored by the committee
  • 139 organizations have responded to the white papers:
    • 45% patient advocacy groups/nonprofits
    • 30% industry representatives
    • 25% academics/professional societies

This is a bipartisan effort, co-chaired by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Committee Member Diana Degette (D-CO). Rep. Degette stated at the launch of the initiative that “we can either work together, or we will fall behind.” Similarly, Chairman Upton explained the goal is to “cure the patients, and keep more jobs in the U.S. What family isn’t affected by this?”

With such high-level input for leaders across the biomedical research field, it is no wonder Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) called 21st Century Cures “the most exciting thing the Committee is doing this year.” As the committee enjoys a brief recess before these meetings continue in September, here are five themes that have emerged from testimony and public submissions thus far:

1. Encourage and incentivize public-private partnerships that accelerate medical research.

2. Encourage new models for clinical trials that take advantage of today’s science.

3. Leverage data collected to advance medical knowledge and improve patient care.

4. Find the right incentives for encouraging the most innovative research.

5. System needs a steady, predictable trajectory of support for medical research.

FasterCures will continue to track this important initiative that seeks to ensure that the United States remains the leader in biomedical research that benefits our economy, improves lives, and speeds cures to patients.

Learn more about the Lancaster event here.

Read the full FasterCures blog online here.

Read more stories on the 21st Century Cures initiative here.

Follow along on Facebook and Twitter using #Path2Cures.

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