Statement of Dr Diana Zuckerman, NCHR President: Regarding the House of Representatives Passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, July 10, 2015

Dr. Diana Zuckerman, PhD
July 20, 2015

We are greatly disappointed by the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act by the House of Representatives.  We share Congress’ desire to increase funding for NIH, but there are dangerous provisions in this bill that undermine scientific evidence used to approve medical products.  However, this was a very technical 350+ page bill, and many Members of Congress did not have the time to fully evaluate the public health implications of the scientific wording.

Cancer patients deserve better!  As often happens, millions of dollars spent on pharmaceutical and device company lobbying were more effective than the efforts of health experts to explain their concerns about patient safety. When campaign contributions and lobbying overwhelmingly support industry wish lists and mislead many patient advocates, as happened here, industry will win. If this bill becomes law, rat and test tube studies will be used to approve medications instead of studies of patients’ health and survival, and cancer patients will be harmed as a result.