On Friday, July 10, Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) voted in support of H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act. The landmark, bipartisan legislation will help deliver more cures, treatments and therapies to patients.
“Today’s innovation is tomorrow’s cures,” said Guthrie, Vice Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee. “21st Century Cures has been a longtime coming, but I’m excited about what our committee has put together. From Alzheimer’s to ALS, this bill will have a real impact on the many Americans suffering from these debilitating diseases.”
The 21st Century Cures Act will unlock innovation in a number of ways: by removing barriers to increased research collaboration; incorporating the patient perspective into the drug development and regulatory review process; modernizing clinical trials, providing new incentives for the development of drugs that treat rare diseases; investing in 21st Century science; and helping to keep and create jobs here at home.
H.R. 6 is the product of more than one year of listening to patients and medical experts about what steps Congress can take to help researchers, caregivers and innovators unleash the power of 21st Century science and technology. H.R. 6 was unanimously passed out of committee in May (51-0) and passed in the House on July 10 by a margin of 344-77.
As an original cosponsor of the legislation, some provisions championed by Guthrie are included in the final bill. Among those items are provisions authorizing grants for the study of continuous manufacturing of drugs and biologics, and requiring guidance to be issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that clarifies the process for approval of point-of-care diagnostic tests.
Also included as part of the bill was an amendment offered by Todd Young (IN-09) and Andy Harris (MD-01), which authorizes a prize program for researchers who develop breakthrough technologies. Funding for the prize money will come from savings achieved through the implementation of legislation introduced by Guthrie, which requires the use of electronic visit verification (EVV) for all personal care services that are paid for by the Medicaid program.
“One of the biggest areas of abuse and fraud in the Medicaid system is billing for services that never take place,” Guthrie said. “We need to ensure that those who need these services are getting the care important to their well-being. I am glad to see this good government provision included in the bill passed by the House today.”