Cures and Innovation
ACS Responds to Senate Report on Speeding Medical Innovation
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has responded to a report released by Senate Health Education Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), along with Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) in late January, titled Innovation for Healthier Americans. At the time of the report’s release, Sens. Alexander and Burr requested feedback from the medical community. The ACS response, sent February 24, 2015, touches on several important topics, including the need to safely speed up the approval process for new treatments, the importance of sustained research funding, drug shortages, reforms to how clinical trials are structured, and the need for enhanced data sharing and standards. The expectation is that the HELP Committee will compile all of the responses it receives and release draft language sometime later this year.
21st Century Cures Initiative
After eight hearings, five white papers, and roundtables across the country, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released an initial discussion document outlining specific proposals that have been shared throughout the 21st Century Cures initiative. The document seeks to continue the dialogue of the past year, encouraging continued discussions among patients, innovators, researchers, providers, and other experts with the common goal of accelerating the pace of curing diseases in the U.S. This release marks the beginning of the Cures legislative phase to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments. The committee is seeking feedback on the proposals outlined in this document, which the ACS DAHP responded to with a letter to the committee. The committee included several issues of importance to the College in the document such as language to rescind the global surgery services rule, adding the continuing medical education Sunshine Act exemption, and establishing a program to help young emerging scientists. The committee is working to ultimately introduce 21st Century Cures legislation and send a bill to the President by the end of the year.
The Senate is working on counterpart legislation to the 21st Century Cures Act. The HELP Committee has approved 7 bills as a part of a broader Cures package that looks to secure investments in the FDA and NIH as well as biomedical innovation.
ACS Letter for 21st Century Cures Initiative