House Easily Passes $6.3 Billion Medical Research Bill
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - A $6.3 billion medical innovation bill easily cleared the House of Representatives on Wednesday with bi-partisan support.
The House voted 392 to 26 in favor of the bill known as the 21st Century Cures Act, with only twenty Republicans and six Democrats voting against the legislation.
The legislation provides $4.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health, including $1.8 billion for Vice President Biden's "Cancer Moonshot" to speed cancer research.
The 996-page bill is also designed to help drug and medical device makers bring their products to market more quickly and at less cost by making reforms to the FDA's approval process.
Provisions to address the country's mental health crisis and provide $1 billion in grants to states to address the opioid crisis were also included in the bill.
The bipartisan support for the bill in the House came despite criticism that the bill is a handout to drug companies and other special interests.
The White House acknowledged the bill is not perfect but expressed support for the legislation and urged the Senate to act promptly. The Senate is expected to begin debate on the bill next week.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX