The 21st Century Cures Act will be seeking the Senate’s approval after it passed the United States House of Representatives voting session earlier last week.
With the Senate being expected to vote for or against the new health act sometime in early December, the bill would come to mark a health reform.
The 21st Century Cures Act has set an ambitious main target. It seeks to accelerate the research, development, and delivery of new medicinal products.
Besides offering new and innovative medicine, the bill also proposes an easier patient access to the various available drugs and treatments.
According to media reports, the act could come to account for an approximate $6.3 billion heath initiative.
Other reports place it as the largest United States health system reform after the Affordable Care Act, which was introduced in 2010.
The 21st Century Cures Act is structured into four main titles. The first such area is focused on the discovery title.
If the motion passes, the bill will lead to a United States Treasury fund which will come to be known as the NIH and Cures Innovation Fund.
As such, in the first bill title, the NIH or the National Institutes of Health would set up, amongst others, an Innovation Prizes Program.
This would help fund biomedical research areas that may come to significantly improve and enhance health outcomes.
It would also establish the Council for 21st Century Cures nonprofit organization, which will seek to accelerate the bill’s main practices.
The second title of the bill will seek, amongst others, to directly beneficiate patients through the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or the FD&C Act.
This will require the FDA to establish data processes which will record the patient experiences in new drug trials. As such, the FDA would come to improve the risk-benefit assessment of new medicines.
A third title, and perhaps the most tech-heavy one, would be concerned with innovative treatments and the way in which they are delivered.
As such, it would, amongst others, help set the requirements for the certification and interoperability of health information technology.
The fourth title of the 21st Century Cures Act will target the Medicare and Medicaid systems. It would envision reforms of the two systems as it would, for example, decrease Medicare payments for X-ray imaging.
It would also directly require new and increased funding for the tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease strategic research.
The new health reform bill has already received a broad support as the United States House already passed the vote by a 344 for to 77 against roll call vote.
A November 30, White House Press release also points out the respective institution’s support of the 21st Century Cures Act. The White House even went to call it a “critically important legislation”.
However, the bill will also be facing a number of opponents. Those against the new legislation have stated their concerns over the increased rate of medicine release.
Whilst some fear that the faster rate of release will fail to take into consideration the patient’s safety when using them.
Others fear that such a reform might affect the FDA regulations as the new medicines would not be as thoroughly tested.
Still, most expect the 21st Century Cures Act to pass the Senate vote and be added as a law by the current president before 2017.
Image Source: Wikimedia