The Senate passed the 21st Century Cures act on Wednesday, sending it to the desk of President Barack Obama, who says he will sign it. The $6.3 billion legislation easily passed the Senate in a vote of 94-5 and the House in a vote of 392-26.

BioForward is very proud to have been an engaged advocate for the Act, working closely with BIO, AdvaMed, and PhRMA to ensure biohealth advances continue.

The bipartisan health care innovation legislation includes actions championed by Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, including $1 billion in funding to fight the opioid epidemic and Senator Baldwin’s Next Generation Researchers Act to invest in the future of American research, science, and innovation.

Senator Baldwin released the following statement after the legislation passed the Senate:

“This bipartisan legislation includes many reforms I championed, including my efforts to invest in the fight against the opioid epidemic and strengthen medical research in Wisconsin. Opioid abuse is an epidemic that continues to grow at an alarming rate and Washington needs to be a stronger partner for states like Wisconsin. That is why I led the fight to include additional investments for opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in the 21st Century Cures Act. And by including my Next Generation Researchers Act, this bipartisan legislation makes a strong commitment to our young scientists, who are being held back by state budget cuts and are in need of greater support to pursue life-saving research and discover the next medical breakthrough.”

Full Statement available here

Wisconsin Congressman and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also released a statement on the legislation:

“The 21st century has brought a revolution in medicine. Yet the regulatory structure to take advantage of these discoveries is lagging behind. This legislation makes crucial reforms in the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments that will keep America on the cutting edge of medical innovation. It’s time to update and streamline this complex approval process so more people can get access to life-changing treatments.”

The 21st Century Cures Act also makes advances in the Food and Drug Administration’s drug development process by making sure patients’ voices are part of those decisions and provides for $500 million in discretionary appropriations for FDA to implement these and other provisions of the legislation.

Other highlights of the bill include:

  • Vice President Biden’s call for a Moonshot in cancer research by investing $1.8 billion in new resources to accelerate discoveries.
  • Nearly $3 billion in investments to build upon the major biomedical research initiatives launched – known as the BRAIN and Precision Medicine Initiatives – which are tackling diseases like Alzheimer’s and creating new research models to find cures and better target treatments.

BIO’s press release on 21st Century Cures
Advamed’s press release on 21st Century Cures