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Senator Lankford Supports Bill to Promote Drug Innovation and Continue to Address Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today voted for Senate passage of the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34), a bill that removes burdensome regulations on the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to allow them to bring safe drugs and devices to the market more quickly, provide assistance to combat Oklahoma’s growing opioid crisis, enhance electronic health records, and address the growing mental health emergency.

“Many Americans have experienced first-hand the effects of Alzheimer’s, mental illness, cancer, or another debilitating illness. Potential cures are currently delayed behind miles of red tape. Today, Congress passed a landmark bill that allows innovation in healthcare and drug development that will encourage new medical discoveries. Our nation has tremendous research and health care capacity, but our innovators are trapped behind layers of bureaucracy. This bill lays the foundation to continue the momentum we have built in medical innovation and discovery for many years to come. 

“Additionally, the bill continues to support states with the means necessary as they address the rapid expansion of prescription opioid drug crisis that continues to devastate communities across the country, including Oklahoma.”

Currently, it can take up to a decade for medical discoveries to be considered by the FDA, and the cost for a single drug to go through the regulatory process and to get to the patient’s medicine cabinet averages over $1 billion. 

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 94-5. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the bill 392-26. The bill will now go to the president to be signed into law.