Senate passes 21st Century Cures Act; bill to make way to President Obama's desk: 5 things to know

Written by Mary Rechtoris | December 06, 2016 | Print  |

On Dec. 5, 2016, the Senate approved the 21st Century Cures Act with overwhelming approval, according to Star Tribune.

Here are five things to know:


1. The House approved the bill last week with a majority vote. The bill now needs a signature from President Barack Obama before coming to fruition.


2. The Senate passed the act with an 85-13 majority vote.


3. The bill, valued at $6.3 billion, has the Obama administration's support. On Nov. 30, 2016, the White House published a press release stating, "Like all comprehensive legislation, the bill is not perfect, and there are provisions the administration would prefer were improved, but the legislation offers advances in health that far outweigh these concerns. The Senate should promptly pass this bill so that the President can sign it."


4. The 21st Century Cures Act changes various FDA requirements that will demand fewer studies from drug companies for product approval. Additionally, the bill allots $4.8 billion over the next decade in additional National Institutes of Health funding.


5. Various consumer and patient advocacy groups have opposed parts of the bill, saying it enables the approval of unsafe drugs and devices.


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