Committee on Energy and Commerce

Fred Upton

Potential Repeat of Polar Vortex, Threat of Blackouts Underscore Need for Visionary Policy That Says #Yes2Energy

2014/08/29

Administration’s Harsh New Regulations Taking Affordable Power Offline 

The Polar Vortex last winter sent temperatures plummeting, breaking record lows across the country and forcing Americans to crank up the heat to stay warm. As the surging demand strained the aging infrastructure, energy prices soared further straining families and businesses. Despite the flaws in the delivery system that last year’s harsh winter revealed, the administration continues its pursuit of new regulations for coal-fired power plants, which threaten to take more affordable energy offline. We should be embracing, not shunning, our nation’s most abundant and reliable source of affordable electricity.

A recent analysis by PJM Interconnection, a regional grid operator, suggests that a repeat of last winter’s deep freeze could lead to numerous electricity blackouts throughout the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic. The Washington Examiner reports, “PJM noted the situation could become more dire under a ‘rapid transition’ from coal to natural gas.”

Last winter, Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) sounded the alarm, stating, “The unusually cold weather we have experienced across the nation underscores the importance of affordable and reliable electricity. Under the Obama administration, electricity access is being jeopardized by a number of already finalized or pending measures raising its cost. This includes pending greenhouse gas regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that will make it illegal to build a coal plant in America.”

If last winter made one thing clear, it is that we desperately need a visionary new policy to ensure reliable access to affordable energy. A key to preventing blackouts and keeping electricity affordable is Pillar II of full committee Chairman Fred Upton’s Architecture of Abundance: Maintaining Diverse Electricity Generation. IHS also released a report in July that echoed the important role America’s fuel diversity plays in ensuring access to affordable and reliable electricity, and warned actions to limit generation sources could increase price volatility, drive up electricity rates, and threaten jobs and industrial competitiveness.

To learn more about Upton’s plan to build the infrastructure needed to fulfill our energy potential and unleash the many benefits of America’s energy abundance, visit: http://energycommerce.house.gov/yes2energy. To avoid potential blackouts, it is time to pursue policies that say #Yes2Energy.

August 27, 2014

Winter blackouts could hit Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, regional grid operator warns

A repeat of last winter's deep freeze could lead to electricity blackouts in a clutch of states spanning the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic as proposed environmental regulations propel a switch toward natural gas-fired power.

PJM Interconnection, a regional grid operator, proposed new measures aimed at ensuring it doesn't again flirt with losing 22 percent of its electricity capacity as it did during the "polar vortex" in early January. Echoing the concerns of Republicans and some centrist Democrats who have admonished the Obama administration for rules that would restrain the use of coal-fired power, PJM noted the situation could become more dire under a "rapid transition" from coal to natural gas.

"Last winter’s generator performance — when up to 22 percent of PJM capacity was unavailable due to cold weather-related problems — highlighted a potentially significant reliability issue," it said. "PJM’s analysis shows that a comparable rate of generator outages in the winter of 2015/2016, coupled with extremely cold temperatures and expected coal retirements, would likely prevent PJM from meeting its peak load requirements."

The 2016 timetable is key because that is when new regulations designed to limit mercury and air toxics go into effect. Those rules will take many older, dirtier coal- and oil-fired power plants offline in the following years. The EPA says the rule will deliver $90 billion in health benefits and prevent 11,000 premature deaths annually once fully implemented at a $9.6 billion annual cost to business. …

But the more conservative members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have issued warnings about how new environmental regulations could hinder electricity reliability for several years.

"Just as the commission does not have expertise in regulating air emissions, I would not expect the EPA to have expertise on the intricacies of electric markets and the reliability implications of transforming the electric generation sector," Philip Moeller, a Republican commissioner at FERC, which regulates the electric grid, said in written testimony for a July House hearing.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has held a number of hearings on the topic, and some senators have voiced their concerns. …

Read the article online HERE.

 

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A Busy Agenda for Obama and Burwell

2014/08/28

President and Health Secretary to Meet in the Oval Office Today at 2:10 PM

President Obama is meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell this afternoon and there is no shortage of items for them to discuss – inconsistencies, new cancellation notices, enrollment details, deleted emails, the status of building the backend of the exchange, or the progress of the states running their own exchanges. In the months leading up to the start of the first open enrollment period, administration officials repeatedly insisted that implementation was “on track” and the system was “working the way it’s supposed to.” The president also repeatedly promised the American people that they could keep their health plans, keep their doctors, and they would save money. Recent news reports raise serious questions and concerns about what the American people face as the start of the next enrollment period approaches.  

The USA Today reports, “Hundreds of thousands of people risk losing their new health insurance policies if they don’t resubmit citizenship or immigration information to the government by the end of next week – but the federal HealthCare.gov site remains so glitchy that they are having a tough time complying.”

The Denver Post recently reported, “The Colorado Division of Insurance has reported that there were about 2,100 health-plan cancellations in the state over the past two months, bringing this year’s total to more than 6,150. … Since 2013, there have been about 340,000 policy cancelations in Colorado.” 

Maryland has spent the past several months rebuilding its exchange and, as CNBC reports, “A federal watchdog issued subpoenas in its investigation into Maryland’s troubled health insurance exchange.” This may have come as a surprise to President Obama, who on September 26, 2013, proclaimed that the first open enrollment period was “going to be smoother in places like Maryland where governors are working to implement it rather than fight it.”

Meanwhile, The Oregonian reports, “At least 2,000 Oregonians need to change coverage due to health exchange errors.”

The AP adds, “The operators of Minnesota’s health exchange have acknowledged an administrative backlog after a woman complained it took more than four months to get her newborn son on the family’s insurance. Around 3,700 people are currently waiting for MNsure to process changes to their insurance.”

In Washington, D.C., “Diana Daniel’s experience with the District’s health insurance website is the sort that gives government bureaucracy – and Obamacare – a bad reputation.” The Washington Post reports, “The Northwest Washington mom filed her online application for medical coverage for her two teenage daughters on June 4. The process supposedly requires three weeks at most. No coverage materialized for nearly three months, despite Daniel’s numerous calls to D.C. Health Link trying to sort things out.”

 

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#Path2Cures Proceeds to Pennsylvania TOMORROW

2014/08/28

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures initiative will take center stage Friday, August 29, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) will host a roundtable. Pitts has assembled an all-star lineup of health care professionals and innovators to contribute to the cures effort including Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) will also participate.

“On Friday, the top health leaders in Pennsylvania and the nation’s capital will come together in Lancaster for an important dialogue on how we can accelerate the pace of cures,” said Pitts. “This is a top priority for the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Health Subcommittee is the tip of the spear in this effort. Our work and conversations continue to boost treatments and cures, spur research and development, and keep the globe’s top innovators and job creators here in the United States. There is no more important initiative that touches more lives than 21st Century Cures.”

Friday’s event will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center. More details are available online here. C-SPAN is scheduled to record the event and broadcast at a later date to be determined.

Participants and attendees will include:

Dr. Francis S. CollinsDirectorNational Institutes of Health

Dr. Margaret A. HamburgCommissionerU.S. Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Louis A. Marotti, Jr.Chief of NeurosurgeryLancaster Regional Medical CenterBrain Orthopedic Spine Specialists, P.C.

The Honorable James C. GreenwoodPresident and CEOBiotechnology Industry Organization

Dr. Norman W. BartonVice PresidentGlobal Clinical Development Team LeaderShire

Dr. Lon CardonSenior Vice PresidentAlternative Discovery and DevelopmentGlaxoSmithKline

Dr. William A. HanlonVice President, Head of Global Regulatory AffairsCovance, Inc.

Mr. Clint MatthewsPresident and CEOReading Health System

Dr. Chi Van DangDirector, Abramson Cancer CenterUniversity of Pennsylvania

Mr. Caroll H. NeubauerChairman and CEOB. Braun Medical, Inc.

Dr. Joseph W. St. Geme, IIIPhysician-in-ChiefThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Jennifer WestdykeParent of Hydrocephalus ChildPediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, Inc.

Read more on the 21st Century Cures initiative here, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #Path2Cures.

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Whitfield Responds to Reports of Obama’s UN Climate Gambit

2014/08/27

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today responded to reports that the Obama administration intends to circumvent Congress in striking an international agreement on global greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama failed to enact cap-and-tax legislation with a Democratic House and Senate in the 111th Congress, and Republican members have expressed repeated concern that the administration has since been working to regulate where it failed to legislate, no matter the consequences to the U.S. economy and jobs.

Whitfield commented, “President Obama’s administration is creating adverse economic factors for folks in Kentucky and across the nation to endure. And if these reports are indeed accurate, the president is looking to commit the United States to a UN climate agreement which will be symbolic globally, but will impose real costs on all Americans. Rather than say yes to energy and yes to jobs, the Obama administration is going to extreme measures to sidestep Congress because they cannot get their way, even with a Democratic majority in the Senate. And for what? EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has even stated that it is unlikely that her agency’s regulations will meaningfully affect future climate change, and they are simply part of an ‘overall strategy’ to demonstrate global leadership. U.S. energy-related emissions have declined and our air is cleaner than ever, and yet the president still wants to restrict access to coal and other sources of affordable energy, putting more and more American jobs at risk while in pursuit of global praise. We are blessed with abundant resources to provide jobs and affordable energy to all Americans – we need to get our priorities straight.”

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The #Path2Cures - What They’re Saying in Beantown

2014/08/27

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures effort has been moving across America this month with various roundtables and events. This afternoon, Reps. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) will host an event in Columbus, Ohio, and on Friday, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) will host a roundtable in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) that will also feature the heads of the NIH and FDA. Many health care professionals, innovators, researchers, patients, and advocacy groups, such as South Florida’s Parkinson’s Action Network, have been active and expressed strong support for the effort.

Earlier this week, Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) participated in a roundtable hosted by the Manhattan Institute in Boston, Massachusetts on “Building a 21st Century Health Care System: Aligning Policy, Accelerating Cures, Delivering Hope.” “The Pink Sheet” DAILY has the recap of the Boston event, and here’s a sampling of what folks are saying:

Jeff Allen, Friends of Cancer Research executive director: 

 “You know Chairman Upton has made this his key priority. He’s very passionate about it, he’s shown this not only in the time that the committee has put forth to discussing this but even when given the opportunity to hear him speak about this personally it’s clear that this is a personal priority for him.”

 

Robert Popovian, Pfizer Inc.’s Senior Director for Advocacy & Professional Relations:

 

“We cannot just have this snapshot of legislative efforts and then let’s put it aside and let’s run to something else. I think this is a longer-term issue that we need to deal with…It’s heartwarming to see that they are actually taking a global view of this thing, rather than a siloed very short term view of trying to fix something.”

 

Ken Kaitin, Tuft’s CSDD Director:

"The landscape for innovation is changing dramatically. … When they passed the first user fee legislation in 1992 there were the regulators and there were the developers, the drug sponsors. Now everything is a consortium of some sort to bring products, it’s a partnership model and we’re moving more and more in that direction…Any initiative that’s going to try to improve the facility to get drugs on the market is going to have to encompass those stakeholders in a way that didn’t exist in the past and that’s why these types of discussions are so important.”

 

Groups also joined the discussion on Twitter:

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #Path2Cures. Learn more about the effort here.

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Song Requests for Willie Nelson and Neil Young Keystone XL Concert

2014/08/27

Ten Songs We Hope Willie Nelson and Neil Young Play at their Keystone XL Concert and Who They Could Dedicate Them To

Willie Nelson and Neil Young are headed to the Nebraska Sandhills next month to perform at concert raising awareness of the Keystone XL pipeline. In honor of the event, the Consumer Energy Alliance last week released a “playlist of songs for the artists to perform based on some of their greatest hits, but this time with a Keystone XL Pipeline twist.” Although Nelson and Young did not intend their concert to build support for the project, a quick look at their catalog shows song titles that could easily speak to the benefits Keystone XL offers and the challenges the project faces. Energy and Commerce Committee leader Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), author of the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3), compiled his own top-ten list of Nelson’s and Young’s greatest hits and explains to whom the songs should be dedicated.

10.Funny How Time Slips Away” (Willie Nelson). But what’s not so funny is the time that has slipped away since the Keystone XL application was first submitted over 2,168 days (and counting) ago.

9. Helpless” (Neil Young). There are tens of thousands of jobs that could be created if the president were to approve the permit to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. These workers are sitting on the sidelines, helpless until President Obama signs the permit for them to go to work.

8. Why Do I Have to Choose?” (Willie Nelson). This song is dedicated to President Obama who is having trouble choosing between appeasing the anti-energy activists and supporting the thousands of union workers who are depending on the pipeline for a job.

7.Walk On” (Neil Young). Neil Young concludes this musical hit with the words, “But sooner or later, it all gets real.”  Well, sooner rather than later, the American economy will feel the real effects of not building the Keystone XL Pipeline.  

6.A Moment Isn’t Very Long” (Willie Nelson). True, a moment isn’t very long, but the wait for this pipeline certainly is. The American people have waited almost six years for the president to make a decision, making this an awfully long moment in history.

5. The Scientist” (Willie Nelson). This song is dedicated to all of the scientists who have studied the pipeline and created over 22,000 pages of reviews that say the Keystone XL Pipeline will produce no significant impact on climate change. A special mention goes to the team of scientists at the State Department who wrote the Final Environmental Impact Statement that said without building the Keystone XL Pipeline we would see an increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 28-42%.

4.For What Its Worth” (Neil Young).  Speaking of the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, it says the Keystone XL Pipeline is worth $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States; 17 out of 27 counties will see an increase in property tax revenues of at least 10 percent totaling approximately $55.6 million for local governments. This song goes out to the lost economic benefits caused by these needless delays.

3. Sitting There in Limbo” (Willie Nelson). After nearly six years, 22,000 pages of studies, and a definitive report that says Keystone XL will not have any significant impact on carbon emissions, this song is dedicated to the pipeline itself.

2. On the Road Again” (Willie Nelson). This song is dedicated to the carbon footprint left by anti-Keystone activists who drive from protest to protest all across the heartland.

1. Happy Birthday” (Willie Nelson and Neil Young).  While no, they haven’t previously recorded this track, it would only be appropriate after the six-year anniversary of the Keystone XL application on September 19th that these two stars sing a happy belated birthday in honor of this critical job-creating project. 

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Committee Leaders Applaud NRC Decision to Say #Yes2Energy

2014/08/26

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today applauded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent announcement approving the final rule on the environmental effects of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel. The Commission also decided to lift the agency’s suspension of issuing final licensing actions for nuclear plants and renewals.

“This action is a welcome step in getting our nuclear future back on track. The NRC can resume fulfilling its core function of issuing licenses, and the commission’s first priority should be completing all pending licenses safely and as soon as possible,” commented full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL).

Energy and Commerce Committee members previously wrote to NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane on July 23, 2014, urging the commission to act quickly on its waste confidence rule regarding environmental impacts of spent nuclear fuel. Today’s decision marks the completion of a two-year effort designed to satisfy a remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

To read the committee’s July 23, 2014, letter to Chairman Macfarlane, click HERE.

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Patients, Parkinson’s, and the #Path2Cures in Florida

2014/08/26

South Florida Parkinson’s Advocates: “Fresh perspective and a consistent messaging across advocacy lines are powerful.”

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures effort continues its journey across America with a roundtable in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday and another roundtable in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Friday. The roundtables to date have provided invaluable feedback, allowing members to hear from innovators, health care professionals, researchers, and patients alike. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) recently held two roundtables in Lutz, Florida, where many local leaders in the health world shared their thoughts on how to accelerate the pace of cures in America.

Parkinson’s Action Network’s South Florida State Directors, Michael and Gretchen Church, joined other patient advocates from stakeholder communities to discuss important issues. Michael and Gretchen tell Parkinson’s Action Network the highlight of the experience was, “The fact that we got to address each question and that a Member of Congress, who sits on key committees, took 3.5 hours out of his busy schedule to listen to the concerns of patients.” They added, “Fresh perspective and a consistent messaging across advocacy lines are powerful.”

Learn more about the initiative here and follow the #Path2Cures on Facebook and Twitter.

Florida Advocates Participate in 21st Century Cures Roundtable

On August 19, South Florida State Directors Michael and Gretchen Church submitted testimony and participated in a 21st Century Cures Roundtable hosted by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

The 21st Century Cures Initiative was started by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), to take a comprehensive look at what steps Congress can take to accelerate the pace of cures in America through medical innovation.

So far, the Energy and Commerce Committee has held several hearings and roundtables. Rep. Biliraki’s roundtable is one of several events held in different communities this month.  In addition to Michael and Gretchen Church, Rep. Bilirakis’ Aug. 16 roundtable titled, “Patients and the Patient Perspective,” included patient advocates from many other disease communities including cancer, ALS, and kidney disease.

PAN asked the Churchs to share their experience at the roundtable.

PAN: How was the round table organized?

M&G: The Congressman’s staff arranged two large round tables in the front of the room. The discussion began with opening remarks by the Congressman and individual participants gave three-minute opening introductions.

PAN: What topics were you able to bring up during the discussion?

M&G: Primarily we discussed the importance and potential of telehealth but we were able, during the course of the next 3.5 hours, to bring up funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Parkinson’s research program, and Food and Drug Administration reform.

PAN: What was Rep. Bilirakis’ reaction to your comments and questions?

M&G: He was very open and sympathetic to all presenters and listened intently. He asked what more he could do.

PAN: What was the highlight of this experience?

M&G: The fact that we got to address each question and that a Member of Congress, who sits on key committees, took 3.5 hours out of his busy schedule to listen to the concerns of patients.

PAN: Did Bilirakis or his staff say how he would follow up with each of you?

M&G: Yes, Rep. Bilirakis said he would very much like to sit down before recess ends for a one-on-one, more detailed interview. He said that Parkinson’s disease was very close to his heart.

PAN: Would you encourage other Parkinson’s advocates to participate in roundtables and town hall meetings such as this one? Why?

M&G: Yes. Fresh perspective and a consistent messaging across advocacy lines are powerful. Rep. Bilirakis wants to meet on a biannual basis and specifically asked for a strong message to bring back to the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. He said hopefully this will catch on with colleagues.

Read the full article online here.

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#Path2Cures Heads to Ohio Wednesday

2014/08/25

Reps. Latta & Johnson: “21st Century Cures truly touches every American... We are all affected and we can all work together to make a difference.”

The Energy and Commerce Committee’s bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative continues across the country as members gather information from researchers, doctors, and patients. This week, committee members Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) will host a roundtable on Wednesday, August 27, in Columbus, Ohio. Latta and Johnson recently wrote in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “This has been a truly unique initiative in Washington — a place not always known for taking a new approach. We started this initiative by just asking questions and bringing everyone together at one table, and we are excited to be continuing that conversation back here in Ohio at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, on Wednesday.”

Learn more about the August 27 roundtable hosted by Johnson and Latta in Columbus, Ohio.

Read more on the 21st Century Cures initiative and follow along on Facebook and Twitter using #Path2Cures.

August 21, 2014

Bipartisan effort to speed medical cures comes to Ohio: Rep. Bob Latta and Rep. Bill Johnson

What steps can we take to accelerate the pace of cures and treatments to keep America at the forefront of health innovation? That's the question that we have been asking over the past several months in the Energy and Commerce Committee's bipartisan 21st Century Cures initiative.

The rise of personalized medicine, the mapping of the human genome, and the incredible advances we have made in communications and technology hold great promise for accelerating the pace of cures, and these advancements are desperately needed — of the 7,000 known diseases, there are cures and treatments for just 500 of them. Our goal is to ensure that we, as a country, are encouraging more innovation in health care, not standing in the way of what science and technology are capable of today.

Through a series of roundtables, white papers, and hearings, we have heard from experts in research, health care, innovation, and patients themselves about the cycle of cures today and discussed opportunities to improve that cycle.

The cycle of cures begins with the discovery of clues in basic science. Next is the drug and device development process. Finally, there is the treatment delivery phase. Each of these steps must influence the next. From discovery to development, the mapping of the human genome has paved the way for more personalized, targeted cures and treatments. The development phase is arguably the core of this process, taking what we have learned and translating it into a cure or treatment that can be brought to the delivery phase. We must then take what we learn in the delivery phase and transfer it back to discovery, ensuring that we are constantly learning and improving.

Communication is a fundamental component of 21st Century Cures. Patients, researchers, and medical professionals need to be communicating with one another throughout this process. For example, nobody knows better how a treatment is working than patients and their doctors. Researchers should learn from them and allow that knowledge to benefit the discovery and development phases of the cycle. Just as science has made tremendous strides, so has communication technology. We need to encourage its use to improve the cycle of cures.

This has been a truly unique initiative in Washington — a place not always known for taking a new approach. We started this initiative by just asking questions and bringing everyone together at one table, and we are excited to be continuing that conversation back here in Ohio at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, on Wednesday.

21st Century Cures truly touches every American, whether as patients, loved ones, caregivers, researchers, or innovators. We are all affected and we can all work together to make a difference.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has had tremendous bipartisan success when it comes to public health. 21st Century Cures seeks to take that success to a new level, providing hope for families and patients here in Ohio and across the country.

Read the column online here.

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Nation’s Top Public Health Leaders Head to Pennsylvania to Continue the #Path2Cures

2014/08/22

Upton: “The 21st Century Cures effort truly affects every single American and these discussions are a critical part of the process.”

As the Energy and Commerce Committee’s bipartisan 21st Century Cures effort continues its momentum across the country, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) will welcome some of the nation’s top leaders in public health. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will head to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, next Friday, August 29, 2014, to participate in just one of several local roundtables to discuss the discovery, development, and delivery process. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) will also participate.

"The 21st Century Cures effort truly affects every single American and these discussions are a critical part of the process,” said Upton. “The success of this initiative relies on the support, expertise, and ideas from individuals throughout the country. We have been humbled by the outpouring of ideas about how to take full advantage of medical innovation and ultimately, save more lives. I look forward to the continued dialogue in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and I greatly appreciate the invitation from Chairman Pitts. These events that are occurring in the Keystone State and coast to coast will help position our efforts on the path to cures.”

Patient organizations, medical professionals, and academics are participating in roundtables to share ideas, promote medical innovation, and improve legislation to accelerate the pace of cures. FasterCures writes, Demonstrating the committee’s determination to hear from a broad range of stakeholders, here’s a summary thus far: 67 innovators, business executives, and government agencies have spoken at roundtables; 35 leaders in biomedical R&D have provided testimony; 9 healthcare innovation topics have been addressed; 4 white papers have been authored by the committee; 139 organizations have responded to the white papers… FasterCures will continue to track this important initiative that seeks to ensure that the United States remains the leader in biomedical research that benefits our economy, improves lives, and speeds cures to patients.”

August 19, 2014

5 Takeaways from the 21st Century Cures Initiative - Thus Far

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee has engaged in a flurry of activity since the May launch of the 21st Century Cures initiative that aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the United States. The committee has held three roundtables and six Congressional hearings on various topics affecting the full arc of the drug development process – from discovery to development to delivery – as well as published four white papers.

Demonstrating the committee’s determination to hear from a broad range of stakeholders, here’s a summary thus far:

  • 67 innovators, business executives, and government agencies have spoken at roundtables
  • 35 leaders in biomedical R&D have provided testimony
  • 9 healthcare innovation topics have been addressed
  • 4 white papers have been authored by the committee
  • 139 organizations have responded to the white papers:
    • 45% patient advocacy groups/nonprofits
    • 30% industry representatives
    • ​25% academics/professional societies

This is a bipartisan effort, co-chaired by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Committee Member Diana Degette (D-CO). Rep. Degette stated at the launch of the initiative that “we can either work together, or we will fall behind.” Similarly, Chairman Upton explained the goal is to “cure the patients, and keep more jobs in the U.S. What family isn’t affected by this?”

With such high-level input for leaders across the biomedical research field, it is no wonder Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) called 21st Century Cures “the most exciting thing the Committee is doing this year.” As the committee enjoys a brief recess before these meetings continue in September, here are five themes that have emerged from testimony and public submissions thus far:

1. Encourage and incentivize public-private partnerships that accelerate medical research.

2. Encourage new models for clinical trials that take advantage of today’s science.

3. Leverage data collected to advance medical knowledge and improve patient care.

4. Find the right incentives for encouraging the most innovative research.

5. System needs a steady, predictable trajectory of support for medical research.

FasterCures will continue to track this important initiative that seeks to ensure that the United States remains the leader in biomedical research that benefits our economy, improves lives, and speeds cures to patients.

Learn more about the Lancaster event here.

Read the full FasterCures blog online here.

Read more stories on the 21st Century Cures initiative here.

Follow along on Facebook and Twitter using #Path2Cures.

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Contact Information

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Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2927
Fax 202-225-1919
energycommerce.house.gov


Membership

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Bill Cassidy

LOUISIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Renee Ellmers

NORTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Cory Gardner

COLORADO's 4th DISTRICT

Phil Gingrey

GEORGIA's 11th DISTRICT

Morgan Griffith

VIRGINIA's 9th DISTRICT

Brett Guthrie

KENTUCKY's 2nd DISTRICT

Ralph Hall

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Gregg Harper

MISSISSIPPI's 3rd DISTRICT

Bill Johnson

OHIO's 6th DISTRICT

Adam Kinzinger

ILLINOIS' 16th DISTRICT

Leonard Lance

NEW JERSEY's 7th DISTRICT

Bob Latta

OHIO's 5th DISTRICT

Billy Long

MISSOURI's 7th DISTRICT

David McKinley

WEST VIRGINIA's 1st DISTRICT

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

WASHINGTON's 5th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Mike Pompeo

KANSAS' 4th DISTRICT

Mike Rogers

MICHIGAN's 8th DISTRICT

Steve Scalise

LOUISIANA's 1st DISTRICT

John Shimkus

ILLINOIS' 15th DISTRICT

Lee Terry

NEBRASKA's 2nd DISTRICT

Fred Upton

MICHIGAN's 6th DISTRICT

Greg Walden

OREGON's 2nd DISTRICT

Ed Whitfield

KENTUCKY's 1st DISTRICT