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21st Century Cures: Bad Deal for Patients. Senate Should Reject.

Statement of Dr. Michael Carome, Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group

Note: Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act. View Public Citizen’s updated summary (PDF) of the dangerous provisions in the legislation.

The U.S. House of Representatives, after weeks of secret deliberations, today passed the dangerous 21st Century Cures Act. The bill has been sold erroneously as a commonsense, bipartisan compromise that enables scientific innovation and medical breakthroughs for America. But in reality, the legislation includes a grab bag of goodies for Big Pharma and medical device companies that would undermine requirements for ensuring safe and effective drugs and medical devices.

Moreover, many House members were persuaded to support the bill, despite the many harmful provisions, in exchange for promises of increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But there is no guarantee that this funding will be appropriated by Congress in future years. Permanently weakening the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in exchange for tenuous promises of increased NIH funding is a bad deal for patients.

We urge the Senate to reject this legislation.