MLA and AAHSL have signed onto a community letter commending the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions' (HELP) for its effort to draft legislation that would get safe treatments, devices, and cures to patients more quickly. The letter also addresses the critical role of the NIH in making that process a reality.
The effort is spearheaded under the leadership of HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). When announcing the measure, Senator Alexander stated: "Senator Murray and I continue our work on a parallel track in the Senate health committee to produce a bill that we can combine with 21st Century Cures and send to the president's desk—and start getting safe treatments and drugs into Americans’ medicine cabinets more quickly."
The community letter notes this legislation has the potential to:
- stabilize the NIH budget through sustained increases in appropriations
- affirm existing NIH support for interdisciplinary scientific research
- grant NIH "carry-over" budget authority
- ease the burdensome travel restrictions for federal researchers
- reduce regulatory burden that could provide human subject protection, promote transparency in financial conflict of interest reporting as well as effort reporting and subrecipient monitoring
The letter was organized by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research which represnts patient groups, scientific societies, research institutions, and industry.