Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Critical Need for Cures Acceleration

How appropriations can make a crucial difference in advancing medical progress

The Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) – authorized through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or health reform law – will allow the National Institutes of Health to seek out and support biotech companies, universities, and patient advocacy groups that are pursuing promising, innovative research. CAN promises to establish a new funding mechanism that promotes outcomes-driven research. As authorized, CAN would have a budget of $500 million to accelerate the development of “high need cures,” defined as drugs, biological products or devices:

  • that are a priority to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat harm from any disease or condition, and
  • for which the incentives of the commercial market are unlikely to result in adequate or timely development.

But without appropriations, CAN will remain an unrealized promise.

We urge all in the patient advocacy community to support establishment of CAN within the NIH Office of the Director, as called for by the health reform law, with appropriated budget of $50-$150 million. Opportunities to change the trajectory of medical research across sectors and for all diseases do not come often. Consider reaching out to Members of House and Senate Appropriations Committees and their staff to voice your support for the Cures Acceleration Network

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