Bill boosts research funding, but also concerns some patient safety advocates
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 12.07.16
(Harrisburg) -- The US Senate has approved a proposal to overhaul the drug approval process in the US.
One researcher in the midstate likes the 21st Century Cures Act, with reservations.
The $6.3 billion bill overhauls the drug approval process in the US.
When evaluating a new drug, the 21st Century Cures Act would allow the US Food and Drug Administration to consider anecdotal or real-world trials, instead of more reliable scientific studies.
Patient safety advocates are concerned drugs with unknown side effects could get approved.
But the measure also has one provision that many like - billions of more dollars for medical research.
Dr. Sheila Vrana, associate dean for research at Penn State College of Medicine, says it will help with finding a cure for cancer.
"Not only in some of our cancer studies, but also we have research on Alzheimer's disease, and ALS. There's a number of areas where I think we could really make an impact with additional funding here at the institution," she says.
"We have not had this influx of funding in many, many years for the NIH. But it does provide additional services which I think are going to be able to be very real to the public," she adds.
Some 1,400 lobbyists worked on pushing the measure, which can lead to more giveaways to industry.
Vrana acknowledges the criticism of the bill, but says on the whole, it's the right move.
The proposal also includes vital funding for addressing the opioid crisis.
President Obama has said he would sign it.
Published in PA Policy