Dear Members of the United States House of Representatives:
The undersigned organizations represent healthcare providers, clinical researchers, public health experts, and consumer advocates. We thank you for this opportunity to comment on the 21st Century Cures draft legislation. Acknowledging the need for increased discovery, development, and distribution of new treatments for a variety of diseases, we are concerned that the proposed legislation as written fails to ensure a comprehensive and scientifically based approach that supports patients’ access to affordable treatments. Instead, the draft legislation would allow for unsafe and ineffective drugs and medical devices to enter the market while further limiting access to effective medicines for patients.
Although we strongly support increases in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this positive component of the draft legislation comes at the expense of too many provisions that we cannot support. Moreover, the authorization of NIH funding increases does not guarantee the appropriation of such funds.
Rather than addressing the true scientific bottleneck in drug and device development, the bill includes unnecessary, costly, and potentially harmful regulatory changes and financial incentives for pharmaceutical and medical device companies that would put patient safety at risk and undermine public health. We therefore are unable to support the current version of the 21st Century Cures Draft legislation.
National Physicians Alliance
American Medical Student Association
Treatment Action Group
Knowledge Ecology International
Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network