Cures, drug pricing, and the next Administration

Dec. 14, 2016
Yesterday afternoon at the White House, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and key lawmakers from both parties, President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which makes new advancements in medical research and seeks to accelerate the approval of new drugs and treatments for patients. “It is wonderful to see how well Democrats and Republicans in the closing days of this Congress came together around a common cause,” said the President at the official signing ceremony. “I think it indicates the power of this issue and how deeply it touches every family across America.”

Among the federal agencies tasked with implementing the 21st Century Cures Act is the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will see an increase in funding. Francis Collins, MD, PhD, a physician-geneticist, currently heads up the medical research agency. While President-elect Trump has yet to announce his picks of whom he wants to lead the Food and Drug Administration and the NIH, several key Republicans have expressed their support for keeping Collins on board.

The 21st Century Cures Act was applauded by many as it made its way through Congress and to the President’s desk for signature. However, additional actions are expected in the coming months in order to help address escalating drug prices. Barbara Greenan, senior director of Advocacy and Policy at the AADA, said the AADA “…looks forward to working with the new Administration and Congress on addressing this highly impactful issue in the context of other health system reforms.”