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Wed Dec 7, 2016, 08:03 AM

Mammoth US health bill aims to approve drugs faster, but concerns linger

Source: The Guardian

Mammoth US health bill aims to approve drugs faster, but concerns linger

As the 21st Century Cures Act heads to a Senate vote, critics
argue it is part of a ‘deregulatory agenda’ that dilutes standards

Jessica Glenza in New York
Wednesday 7 December 2016 11.00 GMT

The US Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a mammoth health bill that took two years to negotiate and passed through the House as few others do: with broad, bipartisan support.

Like many bipartisan works, the $6.2bn 21st Century Cures Act is chock full of compromises.

Critics argue it is part of a “deregulatory agenda”, that dilutes high Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards in return for the unrealized promise of biomedical research funding. High-profile liberal senators, such as Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and some consumer groups, have criticized what they see as “giveaways” to the pharmaceutical industry.

Proponents call the bill’s mental health, opioid addiction, and brain and cancer research provisions a boon to public health. Republican backers have heralded the bill as “transformational” and “life-saving”, and some non-profit groups such as the American Cancer Society have also expressed support.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/07/mammoth-us-health-bill-aims-to-approve-drugs-faster-but-concerns-linger

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