Republican Representative Fred Upton of Michigan authored a bill that seeks to make grand changes to monies allotted for the medical research funding of mental health services. The legislation also reduces the processes new drugs and treatments must go through before they are approved for public consumption. The measure is considered a compromise between Democrats and the GOP, and there is some disagreement on the effects it will create.
Fred Upton, also the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s chairman, expressed his excitement when he said that this was a once-in-a-generation opportunity and that we have the chance to “transform how we treat disease”. The vote in the House was 392-26 in favor, and it is soon expected to pass the Senate. The 114th Congress, before they adjourn, is expected to come to a rare agreement with President Barack Obama with the approval of this bill.
Disparity of Opinion Over Provisions In Medical Bill
The makers of pharmaceuticals were behind the legislation, lending their support to its passing. Dozens of organizations, including patient groups and industry foundations, were in favor as was the device marker’s trade association, PhRMA. Additionally, PhRMA represents AdvaMed and other major pharmaceutical companies. These groups share the belief that the bill will provide greater research for disease prevention, help for drug-abuse programs, and funding for the treatment of mental health disorders.
One of the mostly hotly contested aspects of the enactment was the provision granting faster access of medicines and medical devices to the marketplace. Consumer groups and Democrats expressed concern over this and want more rigorous testing, while others were excited to see the way opening up for the release of new antibiotics, breakthroughs, and revamped uses for existing remedies.
Democratic Representative Rose DeLauro of Connecticut expressed the fact that she thinks many aspects of the bill are noble. However, she worries that less rigorous testing will put patients in danger, and she said that the clinical trials are there, ultimately, for their protection. Deluaro cautioned that the bill would result in the neglect of consumers’ safety. The changes affected are only to streamline some of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval processes.
Allotment of Medical Research Funding For Achieving Research and Goals
There was a great deal of language included in this legislation that dealt with the allocation of money. It was concluded that a total of $6.3 billion would be given, over a period of ten years, to achieving certain healthcare goals. The measure was considered a compromise between Democrats and Republicans.
Democrats believed the medical research funding, spaced over the course of a decade, would only provide small gains to already underfunded programs. Overall, Democrats, Republicans, and the White House worked together to pass this legislation, as it contains compromises to benefit all involved.
Contained within its 996 pages were elements that were said to appeal to all sides. Even so, the promise of monies was acknowledge to be improbable unless a followup measure is approved. Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey vowed that he would continue to exert his influence over Republicans in order to pass the additional legislation needed to release the promised funds.
The Food and Drug Administration was promised $500 million to relax their approval processes, and states were to receive $1 billion to commit to efforts like reducing dependence on opioids. Another $4.8 billion was committed to the National Institutes of Health and is also to be administered over a span of ten years. The Institutes currently conducts cancer research and spends $32 billion annually. Cuts in spending, as determined by Congress, have severely eroded the budget available to the agency since the early 2000’s.
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