21st Century Cures can be Summed up in Four Words

21st Century Cures can be summed up in four words. The problem is deciding which four words to use, because this proactive legislation is a big opportunity for the American people.

Cures gives us hope.  Cures advances scientific research.  Cures innovates new treatments.  Cures puts patients first.  Cures combats opioid abuse.  Cures is a game-changer.

Cures gives us hope.

Alzheimer’s runs in both sides of my family.  My great-grandparents, my grandparents, and my uncles have all faced or are currently facing Alzheimer’s.  For me, I’m hopeful that 21st Century Cures will provide advancements in the studies on Alzheimer’s so that maybe by the time I’m old and gray, my kids won’t experience the heavy burden Alzheimer’s puts on a family.

Cures advances scientific research. 

We need Cures now because America should lead the world on medical innovation.  Cures provides the National Institutes of Health with funding for the Precision Medicine Initiative, for cancer research, and for the BRAIN initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s.  By investing in high-risk, high-reward research, we are investing in the health of generations to come.

Cures innovates new treatments.

Cures clears the path for scientists and researchers to develop life-saving treatments and drugs.  It allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve those new drugs with minimal obstacles to maneuver, resulting in a quicker turnaround time from drug development to market availability.  Cures allows innovators to create and bring to market pharmaceuticals, which can include alternative treatments for diseases and drug addictions.

Cures puts patients first.

The legislation empowers patients to provide their input and experiences into the FDA’s regulatory decision-making.  It personalizes medicine to find the best treatments. No two people are the same, so why should their treatment be?  With Cures, patients can also choose to voluntarily provide hospitals and research institutions with their personal health records for future research.

Cures combats opioid abuse.

In Oklahoma, we need Cures to combat the widespread opioid epidemic.  Each year, there are more accidental overdose deaths linked to opioid abuse than to car crashes in our state.  In 2012, doctors wrote more opioid prescriptions than there were people in the state – a staggering 127 prescriptions per every 100 people.  Along with many other states battling the opioid crisis, $1 billion in federal grants would help Oklahoma fight opioid abuse by allowing the state to use the funds where they deem most appropriate, not where a bureaucrat thinks it *might* help.

Cures is a game-changer.

We have a unique opportunity to deliver cutting-edge advancements to health care and spur the discovery and development of life-saving treatments. We have an opportunity to offer hope to millions of Americans facing impossible odds. It passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support last year, and I hope our colleagues in the Senate will follow our lead. The American people want action.

There has never been a better time for Cures.  That time is now.