Rush Votes YES on H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power voted in favor of H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act. The bill seeks to prevent and cure disease and improve health for all Americans. The 21st Century Cures Act also requires that public, private and research institutions around the country takes bold action to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of promising new treatments and cures for patients and to maintain our nation’s standing as the biomedical innovation capital of the world. H.R. 34, also includes a provision sponsored by Rush that will improve minority inclusion in clinical trials.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), of the 10,000 known diseases, 7,000 of which are considered rare, there are treatments for only 500. Yet, there are many diseases affecting minority communities that often fall by the wayside because minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials. Rush introduced five provisions for adoption into the Energy & Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures bill that sought minority inclusion in clinical trials. Two of Rush’s amendments were adopted into the full bill which will boost the biomedical workforce in in unrepresented communities to address ending health disparities among minority populations and improve outcomes in maternity health.
The first provision will require the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to include within its strategic plan for biomedical research ways to increase representation of underrepresented communities in clinical trials. The second provision will ensure that it remains a priority at NIH that the biomedical workforce of the future includes groups from traditionally underrepresented communities.
“Research professionals tend to work toward solutions to diseases that they have a personal connection with,” said Rush. “That enforces the need for minority participation in order to foster research that gets to the root causes of diseases not only affecting other communities, but cures for underrepresented minority groups. This is why I offered an amendment that will address these disparities by requiring that the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) within the National Institute of Health include within its Strategic Plan ways to increase representation of underrepresented communities in clinical trials.”