House Speaker Paul Ryan Signs 21st Century Cures Bill

Speaker Paul Ryan signs 21st Century Cures Bill

A wide-ranging bill aimed at expediting the development of new medical treatments passed the House decisively Wednesday evening, overcoming criticism from some health policy experts who said it could put unsafe drugs on the market.

The 21st Century Cures Act, which passed 392-26, would set aside $4.8 billion for biomedical research funding over a decade and contains numerous provisions intended to streamline the drug approval process and bring medicines to market more quickly.

Patient groups and drug and medical device companies have been pushing for the legislation for more than a year. Riding a rare wave of bipartisan support in the House, the legislation is expected to be taken up by the Senate early next week.

Supporters say the bill will foster innovation and save the lives of Americans sick with diseases for which there is currently no hope.

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