(Washington, D.C.) Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) cheered the passage of key health and science legislation in the House today.

“The 21st Century Cures legislation represents a giant step forward to providing true medical hope to the American people for cures to some of the worst diseases we face,” said Representative Dent. “It’s aptly named because it brings 21st Century technology and methodology coupled with commonsense regulations to bear on killers like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” he noted.

The 21st Century Cures Legislation includes:

$4.8 billion in new funding for the National Institute of Health –

     -- makes a $1.5 billion investment in the Precision Medicine Initiative

     -- bolsters the “Cancer Moonshot” initiative by $1.8 billion;

     -- provides additional investments in the BRAIN initiative to increase our understanding of neurological diseases.

The legislation focuses on a sensible regulatory model that will bring cures to patients in safer, faster fashion by:

     -- modernizing clinical trials with an emphasis placed on improving the means by which safety and efficacy information is collected, analyzed and shared;

     -- putting patients and their needs to the forefront in the regulatory review process;

     -- encouraging a working relationship between the regulators and medical innovators to help them in bringing 21st Century Cures to patients;

     -- incentivizing the development of drugs to help cure and treat pediatric diseases.

Dent also praised the inclusion of comprehensive mental health reforms passed in July as part of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Reform bill authored by Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18). 

“One of the most common requests I hear from families and caregivers who are doing their utmost to help a child or family member with a mental health condition is the need for them to have a greater say in the care of their child or loved one. This bill will finally help parents by allowing them greater access to work with doctors and mental health professionals in the treatment of their loved ones,” said Dent.

Actions relating to mental health in the legislation include creating a new Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use along with providing for increased communication, unbarred by HIPPA, to allow mental health patients, their families, and care providers to communicate more freely in the effort to increase positive outcomes for all involved.

“As a whole, the 21st Century Cures Act is the shot in the arm that our medical innovators and regulators need so they can focus on the most important individuals in our health system – the patients,” concluded Congressman Dent.

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CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490