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President Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act took a giant step toward implementation, as it was signed into law by President Barack Obama.  The signing marks the culmination of a three-year journey.  The House passed the game-changing medical innovation bill 392 to 26 on November 30, and the Senate followed suit, voting  94 to 5 on December 7. Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R-UT) signed the bill at an enrollment ceremony before formally sending it to the president.

“Working together, we got the job done,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), authors of the 21st Century Cures Act. “Patients needed a game-changer – and it is our hope that history will look back at the Cures effort as the moment in time when the tide finally turned against disease. Today’s milestone is not the end, it’s just the beginning for #CuresNow.”

The act includes a provision to require the implementation of the National Pediatric Research Network Act (NPRNA).   The NPRNA authorizes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a network of research consortia that will conduct basic through clinical research on a variety of pediatric disorders, including rare diseases like SMA.