Innovating for Healthier Americans

A legislative capstone of 2015 was passage by the US House of Representatives of the 21st Century Cures Act, an ambitious bill aimed at accelerating the development and delivery of new therapies to patients. The Senate is working on introducing a corollary piece of legislation known as “Innovating for Healthier Americans.” Although the Senate version is not likely to be an exact mirror of the House version, the overarching goals will remain similar.

Having successfully advocated for the inclusion of provisions including greater incorporation of patient preferences in US Food and Drug regulatory decision-making; supporting more high-risk, high-reward research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and increasing NIH funding in the 21st Century Cures Act, ASN will continue in 2016 to lay the groundwork for inclusion of these concepts in the Senate version. One potential hurdle to the package’s passage into law in 2016 is how to pay for its likely significant cost. While the House used oil sales revenue to finance its bill, the Senate opposes that approach—and it remains to be seen what, if any, alternative payment approaches the Senate develops.