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“Exciting to see a bipartisan, creative approach to helping Americans find better cures so they can live longer, healthier lives while spending a lot less on medical care.”

21st Century Cures is a Major Breakthrough

June 3, 2015

By Newt Gingrich

A surprisingly positive thing happened on May 21. The House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the 21st Century Cures Act. Republican Chairman Fred Upton and Democrat Diana DeGette joined forces to put forward a bold proposal for better research, faster regulatory approval and new approaches to finding cures as rapidly as possible.

The House bill will be matched by the Innovation for Healthier Americans Act, which Chairman Lamar Alexander is working on in the Senate.

This effort to streamline the Food and Drug Administration bureaucracy, invest in more medical research at the National Institutes of Health, and incentivize more rapid development of cures is a very important step toward better health and lower costs for all Americans.

Americans would far prefer to cure sick people, not ration their access to health care through bureaucracies and cutting services.

As I argued in a recent New York Times op-ed, fiscal conservatives should be strong supporters of this approach to 21st century cures. With an aging population, diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s , Parkinson’s, heart disease and others will become more prevalent and will cost taxpayers extraordinary sums of money if we do not find breakthrough cures.

The FDA has all too often slowed down the development of new cures and treatments. It now takes 15 years, on average, for the agency to approve a new drug. The 21st Century Cures Act in the House and Chairman Alexander’s bill in the Senate will cut through much of the red tape and will accelerate getting new breakthroughs from the laboratory to the medicine cabinet.

Similarly, reforming procedures at the National Institutes of Health will reduce the amount of paperwork and red tape scientists will have to endure to conduct basic research. This will allow scientists to focus on discovery rather than bureaucracy.

The 21st Century Cures Act also shifts resources to help younger scientists have more opportunities to apply their knowledge and creativity to solving health problems.

Finally, the 21st Century Cures Act focuses on accelerating biomedical innovation at a time when the science and technology of medicine are exploding with opportunities for new and better solutions.

You can read the full details of the 21st Century Cures Act here.

Call or write your Member of Congress and encourage him or her to pass this important and innovative legislation. And tweet about it using #Cures2015.

Then watch Senator Alexander and his colleagues in the Senate as they build on the 21st Century Cures approach in developing their own bill. In fact, if you have some ideas for modernizing our health research and regulatory system, this is the time to share them with your Senators as they work to develop their legislation.

It is exciting to see a bipartisan, creative approach to helping Americans find better cures so they can live longer, healthier lives while spending a lot less on medical care.

It is also exciting to see that amazing breakthroughs in science and technology can help elected officials see a way out of partisan gridlock toward a positive future.

Chairman Fred Upton and Congresswoman Diana DeGette deserve our thanks for working together to produce such an important proposal.

Read the column online HERE.

To learn more about the Cures initiative, click here. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter using #Cures2015.


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