Subscribe or Manage Preferences
Rheumatology Practice Management February 2017 Vol 5 No 1 - Health Policy
Leslie Wyatt

On December 13, 2016, former President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law.1 This legislation will allocate approximately $4.8 billion in crucial funding for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will span the next 10 years, including $1.4 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative, $1.8 billion for the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, and $1.8 billion for the Cancer Moonshot initiative.2,3 The 21st Century Cures Act will also allocate $1 billion over a 2-year period for state grants to battle opioid addiction and $500 million to the US Food and Drug Administration over a 10-year period to accelerate the approval process for drugs and medical devices.2,3

In a recent statement, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) praised the medical research funding aspect of this legislation, but urged Congress to develop a program at the Department of Defense that focuses on arthritis, and which provides funding for medical research into this condition and other rheumatic diseases.4

“While we are pleased that the 21st Century Cures Act will infuse additional, much-needed funding to the NIH to support medical research across the healthcare spectrum, we also know that more can and should be done to help Americans who are disproportionately impacted by arthritis and other rheumatic diseases,” said ACR President Sharad Lakhanpal, MBBS, MD, in a statement by the organization.4

Citing arthritis and other rheumatic conditions as the leading cause of disability in the United States, and as diseases that affect approximately 1 in 4 Americans, the statement by ACR stressed the need for the nation to invest financial resources into expediting medical research into new therapies and breakthroughs that will improve quality of life and ease the pain of millions of Americans.4 Of note, Dr Lakhanpal underscored the prevalence of arthritis among veterans.

“Today, arthritis is the leading cause of disability among U.S. veterans and the second most common medical reason for medical discharge from the U.S. Army. One in three veterans is diagnosed with arthritis, compared with one in five members of the general U.S. population,” he said. “Despite epidemic-level rates of arthritis in our Armed Forces and the burgeoning cost of this disease to the U.S. military, there is currently no dedicated Department of Defense budget for medical research on arthritis.”

Dr Lakhanpal concluded the ACR’s response to the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act with a more specific request to members of Congress.

“As Congressional leaders turn their attention to budget appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year, we urge them to prioritize the creation of a dedicated $20 million arthritis research program at the Department of Defense so that we can better meet the care needs of the thousands of active duty and veteran members of our Armed Forces who live with arthritis,” he said.

References

  1. The Energy and Commerce Committee. “Working together, we got the job done” - Medical innovation game-changer now law. December 13, 2016. https://energycommerce.house.gov/news-center/press-releases/working-together-we-got-job-done-medical-innovation-game-changer-now-law. Accessed January 23, 2017.
  2. The Energy and Commerce Committee. The 21st Century Cures Act (2016) section-by-section summary. 2016. https://rules.house.gov/sites/republicans.rules.house.gov/files/114/PDF/114-SAHR34-Sxs.pdf. Accessed January 23, 2017.
  3. American College of Radiology. House Passes Revamped 21st Century Cures Act. https://www.acr.org/Advocacy/eNews/20161202-Issue/20161202-House-Passes-Revamped-21st-Century-Cures-Act. Accessed January 31, 2017.
  4. American College of Rheumatology. ACR Statement on 21st Century Cures Act. December 7, 2016. www.rheumatology.org/About-Us/Newsroom/Press-Releases/ID/790/ACR-Statement-on-21st-Century-Cures-Act. Accessed January 23, 2017.
Related Items
ACR Responds to 2019 Benefit and Payment Parameters Proposed Rule
Rebecca Bailey
Rheumatology Practice Management December 2017 Vol 6 No 5 published on January 8, 2018 in Health Policy
Medical Groups Applaud Congressional Leaders for Bipartisan Agreement to Repeal Medicare Therapy Caps
Anne Rowe
Rheumatology Practice Management December 2017 Vol 6 No 5 published on January 8, 2018 in Health Policy
FDA Under the Trump Administration: Can Scott Gottlieb Improve the Drug Approval Process?
Laura Morgan
Rheumatology Practice Management October 2017 Vol 5 No 5 published on October 20, 2017 in Health Policy
FDA Under the Trump Administration: Can Scott Gottlieb Improve the Drug Approval Process?
Laura Morgan
Urology Practice Management - Web Exclusives published on September 20, 2017 in Health Policy
Appeals Process for Challenging High-Stakes Claims
Mark Post, North Texas Joint Care Dallas, TX
Rheumatology Practice Management August 2017 Vol 5 No 4 published on August 16, 2017 in Health Policy
ACR Voices Opposition to Proposed Federal Program and Institution Budget Cuts
Sophie Granger
Rheumatology Practice Management June 2017 Vol 5 No 3 published on June 28, 2017 in Health Policy
Final Report by Institute for Clinical and Economic Review Raises Concerns in the Rheumatology Community
Rebecca Bailey
Rheumatology Practice Management June 2017 Vol 5 No 3 published on June 28, 2017 in Health Policy
Medical Groups Concerned That AHCA May Limit Access to Care
Leslie Wyatt
Rheumatology Practice Management April 2017 Vol 5 No 2 published on April 25, 2017 in Health Policy
ACR President Stresses Crucial Need for Rheumatologist Representation in AMA
Sophie Granger
Rheumatology Practice Management April 2017 Vol 5 No 2 published on April 25, 2017 in Health Policy
Using Secure Text Messaging for the Transmission of Orders for Care
Jessica Miller
Rheumatology Practice Management December 2016 Vol 4 No 6 published on December 28, 2016 in Health Policy
Last modified: March 29, 2017
  • American Health and Drug Benefits
  • Lynx CME
  • Value Based Care in Rheumatology
  • Oncology Practice Management
  • Urology Practice Management

Search