Landmark Overhaul of Drug Research is Proposed in the House

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited draft of legislation that would speed up the approval of new drugs and treatments.

The bipartisan, multi-billion dollar initiative, known as 21st Century Cures, includes major overhauls of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Specifically, the bill would reform the government’s rules for clinical trials, create new incentives for drug companies to study rare diseases and put a far greater focus on patient data to move toward “personalized medicine,” according to the 200-page draft.

It would also add $10 billion to the NIH’s budget over five years. Funding for had agency had been a major sticking point in the talks.