CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF “21ST CENTURY CURES ACT”
Dec 1, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Glenn Rushing
November 30, 2015 202-225-3816
CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF
“21ST CENTURY CURES ACT”
Jackson Lee: “As a Member of Congress and a cancer survivor, I am proud to have co-sponsored and supported the 21st Century Cures Act, which represents a new national effort to find treatment and cures for thousands of unknown and rare diseases.”
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Homeland Security and Judiciary, and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, released the following statement today following passage by the House of Representatives of the “21st Century Cures Act,” which provides $4.8 billion over 10 years for an NIH Innovation Account to fund critical basic research need to find cures for diseases:
“As a Member of Congress and a cancer survivor, I am proud to have co-sponsored and supported the 21st Century Cures Act, which represents a new national effort to find treatment and cures for thousands of unknown and rare diseases.
“This thoughtful legislation is the culmination of the hard work of my dedicated colleagues and involved numerous conversations with patients, innovators, providers, regulators, researchers, and more than 370 patient and physician groups, state and local organizations, cancer centers, about how to move advances in science and medicine into new therapies.
“The 21st Century Cures Act provides $6.3 billion in funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over the next ten years to fund the following activities:
1. Precision Medicine Initiative ($1.455 billion over 10 years), an innovative approach that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles and will help researchers develop medicines tailored to individuals, rather than one-size-fits-all treatments.
2. BRAIN Initiative ($1.511 billion over 10 years), a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.
3. Cancer Moonshot ($1.8 billion over 5 years), launched this year by Vice President Joe Biden to fund the development of cancer vaccines, develop more sensitive diagnostic tests for cancer, immunotherapy and develop combination therapies, and research that has the potential to transform the scientific field and address major challenges related to cancer.
“I am also pleased that the 21st Century Cures Act also include a student loan repayment program for clinical scientists who do research in health disparities and for clinical scientists from disadvantaged backgrounds, from $35,000 per year to $50,000 per year plus a yearly inflation for adjustment. This loan forgiveness program will enable members of underrepresented communities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to become future researchers and workers of the biomedical workforce.
“Under the ‘21st Century Cures Act,’ the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities will necessarily include strategies for increasing representation of minority communities in its strategic plan.
“I am proud that the 21st Century Cures Act incorporates the Jackson Lee Amendment which I offered during the initial consideration of the 21st Century Cures Act by the House which will help ensure that the national goals of finding and bringing more cures and treatments to patients and strengthening the biomedical innovation ecosystem in the United States is aided by an expanding pool of diverse and talented medical researchers.
“Increasing diversity of those conducting research will have positive effects on the types of conditions that are researched and the variation in participants in clinical trials that are seeking cures for illnesses like lupus, triple negative breast cancer, and sickle cell disease that can be difficult to detect, treat and cure.
“Triple negative breast cancer, for example, disproportionately impacts younger women, African American women, Hispanic/Latina women, and women with a “BRCA1” genetic mutation, which is also prevalent in Jewish women. More than 30% of all breast cancer diagnoses in African American women are of the triple negative variety.
“Increased diversity in research trials could help researchers find better, more precise ways to fight diseases that disproportionately impact certain populations, and may be important for the safe and effective use of new therapies.
“Another important provision of the 21st Century Cures Act is that it requires the National Institutes of Health to report the number of children by race and gender who participate in NIH funded clinical trials, which will help ensure that children of all races are adequately represented in clinical trials and that we can determine the safety and effectiveness of drugs on children of all demographic backgrounds.
“With 10,000 known diseases, 7,000 of which are rare, and treatments for only 500 of them-clear there is much work to do. And much of that work will be done in Houston, which is home to the largest medical complex in the world, ¬the Texas Medical Center, which provides clinical health care, research and education at its 54 institutions.
“The 21st Century Cures Act represents a major step forward toward the discovery, development, and delivery of promising new treatments and cures for all patients while investing in our nation's ability to maintain the best and most diverse biomedical workforce in the world.”
Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and is Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.