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APLU: Congress Delivers Perfect Holiday Gift with Passage of 21st Century Cures Act

Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today issued the following statement regarding Senate passage of the new 21st Century Cures Act. The measure, which passed the House last week, now moves to the White House where President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

“Passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is one of the 114th Congress’ greatest achievements and is truly the perfect gift for all Americans during this holiday season. By significantly increasing biomedical research funding, this measure gives real hope to the far too many Americans who suffer from debilitating and life-threatening diseases and are counting on new research to unlock cures and more effective treatments.

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is nothing short of a national treasure that has directly impacted and benefited the lives of each and every American. Our country is fortunate to have this agency devoted to cutting-edge biomedical research. But for all of the extraordinary NIH-backed research conducted over the years, the demand for even greater levels of research persists. Through increased annual authorization levels for NIH and the proposed multi-year funding for NIH Innovation Projects, the agency will finally be able catch up from a decade of declining budgets and keep up with the current and evolving promise of biomedical research.

“Increasing investments in NIH will also help reassert the United States’ role as the global innovation leader while representing an important step toward preventing an innovation deficit. As other nations continue to steadily ramp up their research investments, this bill will go a long way toward ensuring the next major medical breakthroughs take place in U.S. laboratories, often on university campuses. These discoveries will lead to new treatments, procedures, and advanced, state-of-the-art medical equipment that will also grow our economy.

“By demonstrating a commitment to more robust biomedical research, Congress is also helping to attract the next generation of the biomedical research workforce. Young students and researchers will now know that there is a more serious commitment to support their desired career path of unlocking new cures and treatments.

“Additionally, we greatly appreciate the provisions in the bill to provide regulatory relief, which will accelerate research and ensure more dollars are spent on cutting edge science rather than cutting red tape.

“APLU thanks and expresses its gratitude toward the congressional champions who worked extremely hard to craft and ensure this legislative success — Chairman Upton, Representative DeGette, Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray as well as the House and Senate leadership. Our association is proud to have vigorously supported the bipartisan Cures Act and looks forward to President Obama signing it into law.”

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