clear
Friday November 24th, 2017 2:22AM

GOP leaders set for House vote on medical research bill

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders are ready to push through the House a compromise medical research bill that's prompted complaints from Democrats and consumer groups but seems all but certain to sail through Congress with momentum built by victories that it delivers for both parties and the White House.

The legislation envisions spending $6.3 billion over the coming decade, including $4.8 billion for National Institutes of Health research. States would get $1 billion over the next two years for preventing and treating abuse of addictive drugs like opioids, a surging problem in red and blue states alike, while the Food and Drug Administration would get $500 million to streamline approval processes for drugs and medical devices.

On the eve of the House's scheduled Wednesday vote, the White House sent a letter to lawmakers voicing strong support for the measure, all but guaranteeing congressional approval. Addressing worries by some Democrats, the letter said administration officials would act swiftly "to ensure that the funds in the bill would be disbursed quickly and effectively so we can begin to address these important public health challenges."

Senate consideration was expected next week.

"We feel that we're on good footing," Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said of the bill's prospects in both the House and Senate.

Underscoring the measure's bipartisan support, that panel's top Democrat, Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, said he'd vote for the bill and its provisions would ease government approval of drugs "without sacrificing any safety."

The measure has won strong backing from the drug and medical device industries.

GOP leaders have trumpeted the bill as a key achievement for the post-election, Republican-led Congress as lawmakers prepare for Donald Trump to replace President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Jan. 20. That looming transition has greatly reduced the leverage of Democrats, who would have preferred the bill to contain more money and greater consumer protections.

In two noteworthy wins for the White House, the bill includes $1.4 billion for Obama's precision medicine initiative, aimed at shaping treatments and care for people based on their genes and lifestyles. It has $1.8 billion for seeking a cure for cancer, a priority for Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Beau died of the disease last year.

The measure also contains provisions bolstering federal mental health programs, though it provides little money for those changes.

Democrats grumbled that though the bill designates funds for research, drug approvals and opioids abuse programs over coming years, it would take additional legislation to actually provide those funds. They were unhappy about savings that would pay for those initiatives, chiefly $3.5 billion to be cut from a public health program in Obama's health care law, which the GOP aims to repeal in its entirety.

Democrats and consumer groups were also upset with the streamlining of some Food and Drug Administration processes, including making it easier for pharmaceutical companies to win approval for some antimicrobial drugs and for fresh uses of some existing medicines.

Michael Carome, the director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said that while he was happy for extra research and anti-drug funds, "For us, the bad things are not an acceptable trade-off."

Among those who've said they will oppose the bill are two of the Senate's best-known populist figures, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

On Tuesday, the liberal grassroots group Democracy for America emailed a fundraising solicitation warning, "If Democrats want to be the party of working families, they need to stand up to Republicans who want to shovel money into the pockets of shady drug companies."

In eleventh-hour talks, both sides said they had agreed to remove language that would have exempted companies from publicly reporting education-related gifts to doctors, such as textbooks. Firms must reveal many payments they give physicians, which critics say encourage doctors to prescribe products made by those companies.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Consumer News, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Revelers say goodbye to a year of conflicts, deadly violence
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and celebrity deaths
11:58PM ( 9 months ago )
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson, The Rematch
11:31PM ( 9 months ago )
With Ohio State shutout, Clemson earns another shot at 'Bama
Clemson's redemption: By shutting out Ohio State, the Tigers earn another shot at 'Bama
11:25PM ( 9 months ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump says he doesn't trust computers as he rings in 2017
President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private
10:46PM ( 9 months ago )
New UN chief wants consensus but faces antagonistic Trump
Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk
9:39PM ( 9 months ago )
Trump ditches media for golf game, offers New Year's wishes
President-elect Donald Trump has ditched his press pool once again, traveling to play golf at one of his clubs without a pool of journalists on hand to ensure the public has knowledge of his whereabouts
3:58PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Some power restored to North Carolina's gov.-elect _ for now
A North Carolina judge granted a small victory to the state's incoming Democratic governor on Friday, temporarily restoring some of his control over elections that Republican lawmakers stripped him of in a legislative power play just weeks ago
4:17PM ( 9 months ago )
North Carolina gov.-elect sues over law stripping his powers
North Carolina's incoming Democratic governor has sued over a new law passed by Republican lawmakers to limit his powers before he even takes office
1:43PM ( 9 months ago )
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Obama unleashes sanctions on Russia for election hacking; cease-fire in Syria appears to be holding; Serena Williams announces engagement to co-founder of Reddit.
7:40AM ( 9 months ago )
AP Online Congress News
Rural New Mexico exports mentoring model for physicians
A mentoring program for physicians in rural areas is being tapped by the federal government to expand access to specialized care
1:41PM ( 9 months ago )
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' defense, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers will meet next week to forge a common strategy to stop Republicans from destroying his signature health care law
2:43PM ( 9 months ago )
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' huddle, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama will strategize next week with Democratic lawmakers about how to prevent Republicans from destroying his Affordable Care Act
1:36PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Health
US states, leery of Russia malware, re-examine cybersecurity
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
8:57PM ( 9 months ago )
States re-examine cybersecurity after Russia accused of hack
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
6:37PM ( 9 months ago )
Long gas lines, price hike mar holiday season in Mexico
The holidays have been a little less merry for car owners in Mexico as gasoline shortages have grumbling customers dealing with hours-long lines
6:29PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Business
Tech leaders to make peace, or press their case, with Trump
Technology leaders are about to come face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump after fiercely opposing his candidacy, fearful that he would stifle innovation, curb the hiring of computer-savvy immigrants and infringe on consumers' digital privacy
1:06PM ( 10 months ago )
Tech leaders couldn't beat Trump; they'll meet him instead
Technology leaders are about to come face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump after fiercely opposing his candidacy, fearful that he would stifle innovation, curb the hiring of computer-savvy immigrants and infringe on consumers' digital privacy
12:47PM ( 10 months ago )
GOP leaders predict House passage of medical research bill
Republican leaders are predicting House passage of a compromise medical research bill on Wednesday
11:04AM ( 10 months ago )
AP Business - Consumer News
Coast Guard suspends search for missing plane with 6 onboard
The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a plane that was carrying a beverage distribution company's chief executive and five other people when it vanished over Lake Erie after takeoff from Cleveland's lakeshore airport
8:19PM ( 9 months ago )
Nvidia leads S&P's winners in 2016; drug companies slump
Chipmaker Nvidia more than tripled in value in 2016, far more than any other company in the S&P 500
4:44PM ( 9 months ago )
US stocks move lower in afternoon trading; oil heads down
Technology companies are leading U.S. stock indexes modestly lower this afternoon on the final day of trading for the year
2:31PM ( 9 months ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Bannon faults George W. Bush for 'destructive' presidency
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon brings pro-Trump message of Republican revolt to Democratic California
1:28AM ( 16 minutes ago )
End of an era as Hong Kong stock trading floor set to close
End of an era for Hong Kong's last remaining stock market floor traders as exchange prepares to shut its trading hall, joining other world exchanges in going fully automated
1:12AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Ball flirts with triple-double, Lakers hold on to beat Suns
Lonzo Ball barely missed a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in his second NBA game and the Los Angeles Lakers held on to beat the Phoenix Suns 132-130
1:03AM ( 40 minutes ago )
New film claims to have solved Jim Thompson mystery
A new documentary is set to stir fresh debate over one of Asia's most enduring mysteries: What happened to Jim Thompson, Thailand's legendary silk king
12:52AM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: Bannon bashes GW Bush at California GOP meeting
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon says there has not been a more destructive presidency than George W. Bush's
12:32AM ( 1 hour ago )