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January 2016

Health, Wealth, and the 21st Century Cures Act

Author Affiliations
  • 1MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 3Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy and The Becker Friedman Institute, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Samaritan Health Initiatives Inc, Houston, Texas
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(1):17-18. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.4221

Americans are increasingly apprehensive about our future, so it is inspiring when Congress produces legislation intended to both enhance our health and expand our economy. The 21st Century Cures Act,1 recently passed by the House with an impressive bipartisan majority vote of 344 to 77, intends to accelerate the many-step process of drug discovery and development, from basic scientific research to clinical development to delivery, distribution, and ongoing monitoring. Among other things, the legislation boosts National Institute of Health funding, dramatically speeds up the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process, and aims to make use of new information technology to better monitor the performance of medical products after they reach the market. This landmark bill now awaits a comparable piece of legislation being developed by the Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Together, they will transform the biomedical ecosystem and provide the foundation for the next several decades of innovative life-saving and health-enhancing solutions for our nation and the world.

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