WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), co-chair of the bipartisan congressional Life Science Caucus, helped pass the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, a game-changing $6.3 billion investment in scientific research that meets Rep. Peters’ long-held goal of increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health. The bill includes funding for the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Cancer Moonshot, and other programs that will spur discovery, improve quality of life, and boost San Diego’s innovation economy. President Obama strongly supports the 21st Century Cures Act, which is expected to be taken up by the Senate next week and signed into law before the end of the year.
After voting in favor of the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed on a broadly bipartisan 392-26 vote, Rep. Scott Peters released the following statement:
“The 21st Century Cures Act achieves a goal I have prioritized since coming to Congress – boosting funding for the National Institutes of Health – that will make America more competitive and create the jobs of the future right here in San Diego.
“There isn’t a city in America better positioned to meet the bold aspirations of the 21st Century Cures Act, or benefit from the resources it provides, than San Diego. We are the center of genomics, the center of life sciences, and the center of collaborative scientific research that makes groundbreaking discoveries and improves peoples’ lives.
“Programs like the Cancer Moonshot and the Precision Medicine Initiative – which have the potential to unlock cures that will change millions of lives – are already counting on and investing in San Diego’s world-class research institutions. And the streamlining of FDA approval processes will incentivize innovation and give patients – particularly those with life threatening or debilitating diseases – more options to manage their diseases and improve their quality of life.
“This legislation also includes desperately needed funding to confront the opioid epidemic – a scourge that has taken a heartbreaking toll on families in every community in America, including San Diego.
“I would have preferred the higher level of mandatory funding included in the version considered earlier this year, but appreciate the work that was done to come to this bipartisan compromise. The 21st Century Cures Act is still a significant investment in our scientific community that offers the potential for discovery to improve lives and expand economic opportunity. I am proud to support it, and look forward to seeing it signed into law.”
Key provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act include:
- $4.8 billion in new funding for research through the National Institutes of Health over the next decade including $1.8 billion for the Cancer Moonshot, $1.5 billion for the BRAIN Initiative, and $1.45 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative. San Diego is the top metro area in the country for NIH research funding, receiving more than $768 million in funding in 2015.
- $1 billion in new funding over the next two years for grants to states to prevent and treat opioid abuse.
- Streamlines the FDA approval process for certain devices and drugs and establishes programs for expedited approval of medical devices that represent breakthrough technologies.
- Supports the next generation of scientists by increasing to $50,000 from $35,000 the maximum annual payments on student loans under the Public Health Service Act for young NIH researchers.