In December 2016, Congress overwhelmingly passed the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill that increases funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and innovation at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), creates incentives for developing therapies for rare conditions, and strengthens the patient voice in the regulatory environment. It will accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of lifesaving medical treatments by bringing the nation’s health care innovation infrastructure into the 21st century.
The 21st Century Cures Act will help bring the innovative treatments and therapies that patients want and need to the market faster. It allows the FDA to use real-world data from patients that can help significantly improve how drugs are evaluated throughout the lifecycle of a product, from development to post-approval monitoring.
Further, important provisions were included in the bill to support the Precision Medicine Initiative and the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, which set the goal of helping researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and prevent brain disorders, including epilepsy. Finally, the Act would also require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to set up a surveillance system for neurological diseases and we believe epilepsy should be one of the conditions included in the new system. We specifically advocated for the neurodata surveillance system and are pleased to see it included in the final bill.
On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law.
Learn more about the 21st Century Cures Act here.