President Obama, in his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening urged a “precision medicine initiative” that would advance efforts to address cures for diseases like cancer and diabetes. While the president offered no specific details on the initiative, congressional reaction to the speech interpreted a likely intersection with ongoing development in the House Energy and Commerce Committee of a medical research and drug product approval process overhaul package.
Committee chairman, Michigan Republican Fred Upton touted the work on a looming legislative measure, dubbed “21st Century Cures“, which seeks to speed the discovery, development, and delivery cycle of medical advances. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee immediately tied the president’s initiative suggestion with the looming “21st Century Cures” effort.
State of the Union excerpt (view transcript):
21st century businesses will rely on American science and technology, research and development. I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine: one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.
In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable. Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.