Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Cures Act Funds Biden’s Cancer Moonshot –Aims to Revolutionize Medical Research and Treatment

Dec 13, 2016
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With my strong support, the House passed the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, which many are calling a “once in a generation” plan to revolutionize the way we research and treat disease. It’s a long-term, national commitment to discover, develop and deliver new treatments and cures for cancer and neuromuscular diseases like Parkinson’s. Important provisions are included to fight opioid addiction, improve community mental health services, expand patient access to clinical trials and safely speed and modernize FDA approval for cutting edge medicines and life-saving medical devices.

Three years in the making, preparation for the ten-year, $4.8 billion measure involved hearings and meetings all over the country with physicians, researchers, patients and medical industry leaders, among others. Everyone had a say in what the final bill contains. It’s about 1,000 pages long, but here are highlights of what the new funding will support:

Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot. Goals include powerful new research leading to additional breakthroughs in immunotherapy and cutting edge combined therapies, development of vaccines to prevent and cure cancer and faster, better diagnostic testing for cancer.

Personalized, precisian medical treatment. The bill supports researchers working to develop medicines tailored to each individual patient rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Expanded community mental health services. The measure provides grants and other assistance for local mental health initiatives including suicide prevention and help for communities to provide individuals in crisis with nearby treatment and residential facilities. Support is also included for mental health services benefitting children showing early signs of mental disorders.

President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. The Cures Act promotes bold new research to help doctors and researchers better understand the human brain, more successfully treat traumatic brain injuries, and uncover new ways to prevent, treat and cure disorders such as Alzheimer’s’, autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia.

New discoveries about adult stem cells.  The bill includes new resources to help researchers advance the field of regenerative medicine using adult step cells.

Modernize the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). While continuing to ensure the highest standards of safety and effectiveness, the Cures Act directs the FDA to speed and modernize its process for reviewing new medical products and expedite patient access to cutting edge new drug and medical devices.