Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced he has introduced legislation to promote the development of meaningful treatments for patients with chronic or rare diseases.
The "Modernizing Our Drug and Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network (MODDERN) Cures Act" would modernize our Nation's drug and diagnostics evaluation and regulatory network by encouraging the discovery and development of new treatments for the many diseases that have few or no options. It would also create a system that rewards efficiency and effectiveness to the benefit of all people with chronic diseases.
"In an era of increasingly scarce resources for health research, it is critical to ensure that outdated barriers in the regulatory system are removed and limited dollars are spent most effectively to meet the needs of patients," said Lance. "The status quo is not yielding treatments needed to address the growing epidemic of chronic disease. That is why it is vital that we update the regulatory system by removing the barriers to invention and providegreater predictability in the search for therapies for unmet medical needs."
The bill would promote the production of co-developed diagnostics and therapeutics and encourage the development of drugs abandoned in the development process by creating a new category of drugs known as dormant therapies for compounds with insufficient patent protection that offer the promise to treat conditions with unmet medical needs. Updating patent reforms would help open the pipeline for new innovations and therapies and would help patients with degenerative conditions (such as Alzheimer's, ALS, and Parkinson's), autoimmune diseases (such as lupus and Sjögren's Syndrome) and cancer.
Lance noted the bill was developed in concert with the National Health Council, an organization that provides a united voice for people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers.
"More than 133 million Americans -- over 40 percent of the people in this country -- have at least one chronic disease or disability," said Myrl Weinberg with the National Health Council. "Despite the roughly $80 billion spent annually on medical research and development, many conditions lack effective treatments. This bill will advance personalized medicine by getting the right medicines to the right people. It will ensure that science, not patent law, drives the development of new therapies."