The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) and the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) commend the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their bipartisan work on behalf of patients to develop and unanimously pass the 21st Century Cures Act today.
The LRI and ALR provided extensive feedback over the past year on each draft of the Act to ensure that the needs of the lupus community were reflected in the legislation. We greatly appreciate that the bill addresses each of our requests to:
- Strengthen National Institutes of Health (NIH) biomedical research programs by authorizing increased amounts for NIH through 2018, and establishing an NIH Innovation Fund to provide supplemental, automatic funding of $2 billion per year over the next five years for priority research.
- Increase the numbers of clinical trials and streamline how they’re conducted, to help deliver desperately needed safe and effective treatment options to lupus patients faster.
- Increase patient participation in the research and drug approval processes to reflect the patient’s perspective on what medication side effects are tolerable and what tradeoffs they are willing to accept.
- Provide incentives to foster more clinical research, networks and clinical trials; accelerate drug discovery; and drive innovation to develop safe and effective drugs for people with lupus and other diseases.
We thank the champions of this bill for all their hard work: Fred Upton (R-MI), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Gene Green (D-TX).
The LRI and ALR have provided similar feedback to parallel legislation in development by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
We’ll keep working on behalf of America’s lupus community until legislation is passed in both the House and the Senate supporting research that integrates and involves patients, and accelerates the discovery, development, and delivery of life-changing medical treatments for people with lupus and all challenging diseases.
*Follow along on social media for news about the bill using #Cures2015