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Energy and Commerce Leaders Release Revised 21st Century Cures Draft

May 1, 2015—A bipartisan group of House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders April 29 released a revised 21st Century Cures discussion draft. The Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee reviewed the draft at an April 30 hearing [see related story].

Full committee chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Oversight and Investigations subcommittee ranking member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), full committee ranking member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee chair Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Health subcommittee ranking member Gene Green (D-TX) together released the draft, which is the product of months of bipartisan negotiations.

The discussion draft would reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for three years (Fiscal Years (FY) 2016 through 2018), authorizing an increase of $1.5 billion a year for the NIH budget. The draft also creates an NIH Innovation Fund for FYs 2016 through 2020, financed by a mandatory appropriation of $2 billion a year, to support precision medicine, young emerging investigators, and other priorities to be identified.

In an April 29 statement, AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, M.D., said, “We commend the committee leaders for drafting language that would authorize and provide increased funding for the NIH, including $10 billion over the next five years in mandatory funding through an NIH Innovation Fund. We are encouraged the committee leadership recognizes the critical importance of maintaining NIH as a national priority.”

In other NIH-related provisions, the draft:

  • Requires NIH to develop a strategic plan;
  • Requires the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study the extent to which federal biomedical research is duplicative, and make recommendations to prevent such duplication;
  • Establishes a Biomedical Research Group to provide recommendations to reduce the administrative burdens for NIH-funded researchers;
  • Exempts NIH from the Paperwork Reduction Act;
  • Requires NIH institute/center directors to establish high-risk, high-reward research programs;
  • Establishes a program at NIH to help young investigators and improves the loan repayment programs for NIH researchers; and
  • Creates a "capstone" grant program "to facilitate the successful transition or conclusion of research programs."

Contact:

Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559
Email: dbmoore@aamc.org

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org