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OPINION: Reps. Upton and DeGette in CNN: Can We Find Cures for 7,000 Diseases?

Jan 13, 2015

Upton and DeGette: #Path2Cures is "Clearer than Ever"

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) last year embarked on the 21st Century Cures initiative with the goal of getting more cures and treatments to patients more quickly. Over the course of the year, the committee and its members issued four white papers and hosted a number of hearings and roundtables in Washington, D.C., and around the country. Now as the 114th Congress begins, Upton and DeGette write for CNN, "The path to faster cures is clearer than ever. … Our review revealed several areas of reform that will close the gap between the science of medicine and the regulations that impact the volume and fate of new therapies. Our legislation will modernize all of these categories, removing outdated hurdles that can prevent innovation from flourishing or fleeing the United States."

21st Century Cures will release a discussion draft in January and plans to move quickly to get the job done for patients.

Learn more about 21st Century Cures online here, join the conversation on Twitter @ECcures, like us on Facebook, and share your thoughts using #Path2Cures.

January 13, 2015

Can We Find Cures for 7,000 Diseases?

By Fred Upton and Diana DeGette

Despite the conventional wisdom that Washington is a frozen island of partisanship, a hopeful thaw is underway. For the past year, we have been spearheading a bipartisan effort to update the process of discovering, developing and delivering medical therapies to help people live longer and better lives.

After months of listening to experts and stakeholders, the path to faster cures is clearer than ever. We call it the 21st Century Cures initiative, and Congress is about to take a major leap down this road of hope.

There are over 7,000 diseases yet we only have cures and treatments for 500 of them. This unacceptable fact led to one simple question: What policies can we enact to help get more cures and treatments to patients?

Our review revealed several areas of reform that will close the gap between the science of medicine and the regulations that impact the volume and fate of new therapies. Our legislation will modernize all of these categories, removing outdated hurdles that can prevent innovation from flourishing or from fleeing the United States. …

America has a strong history of finding solutions to diseases through medical innovation. Today, partnerships with patients and advocates, health care workers and researchers, and government and the private sector can speed the cycle of finding faster cures.

Given the rate of recent scientific progress, it's time to modernize policy to move the process of discovery, development and delivery even faster. The 21st Century Cures initiative is a bipartisan effort to melt Washington's polarization and do just that.

Read the article online HERE.

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