July 9, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) voted for the 21st Century Cures Act, a cause championed by Vacaville resident Noah Coughlan, who ran across the country three times to bring attention to rare diseases The legislation passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote of 344-77.
"The 21st Century Cures Act is a huge step forward in fighting diseases that afflict millions of Americans. It provides vital funding and reforms to accelerate the development and delivery of medical breakthroughs. We need this legislation to bring our medicines into the modern day," said Congressman Garamendi. "This legislation would expand opportunities for UC Davis and researchers throughout Northern California. I want to thank Noah Coughlan and the countless other advocates for getting us to this point. I urge the Senate to send this bill to the President’s desk without delay."
Garamendi is a co-sponsor of H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act. The bill encourages the development of treatments and cures for various diseases while also providing funding for resources for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The legislation streamlines the process of how the Food and Drug Administration approves new drug treatments, which will accelerate the process of approving new medicines.
The $8.5 billion in funding provided to NIH by the 21st Century Cures Act will be in mandatory rather than discretionary spending, meaning it will ensure that support for medical innovation operates outside of partisan politics. NIH is encouraged to use the funds to address areas of unmet medical needs, including but not limited to, biomarkers, precision medicine, infectious diseases, and antibiotics. Among other measures to strengthen our biomedical workforce, the bill increases the cap for NIH’s loan repayment programs.
If enacted, this legislation would provide research opportunities for UC Davis, which U.S. News & World Report ranked 20th in America in biomedical graduate research in 2015. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, NIH provided $206 million in funding to UC Davis. It has been estimated that every $1 of NIH funding generates about $2.21 in local economic growth, and in 2012, NIH-funded research supported an estimated 402,000 jobs all across the U.S.