President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law on Tuesday. The legislation aims to provide additional funding to the NIH and FDA while streamlining the development of new drugs and antibiotics.
A revised version of the bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 392 to 26 vote on November 30. It was then passed by the Senate in a 94 to 5 vote on Dec. 7.
“Working together, we got the job done,” Upton and DeGette said in a joint statement. “Patients needed a game-changer — and it is our hope that history will look back at the Cures effort as the moment in time when the tide finally turned against disease.”
The bill provides the NIH with $4.8 million in new, fully offset funding, according to a fact-sheet provided by the Energy and Commerce Committee. The funds will be used to help advance the Precision Medicine Initiative and provide $1.5 billion to drive research into genetic, lifestyle and environmental variations of disease, provide $1.8 billion to bolster Vice President Joe Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative; and invest in the BRAIN initiative to improve understanding of diseases including Alzheimer’s.
The reworked version of the bill also includes an “Antimicrobial Innovation and Stewardship” provision that focuses on new requirements relating to antimicrobial use, stewardship and the development of new antimicrobials.
“I’m hopeful that in the years ahead, Congress keeps working together in a bipartisan fashion to move us forward rather than backward in support of the health of our people,” Obama said during the bill signing.