Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) have published a paper on reforming the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Senators are concerned about the two federal agencies ability to drive medical research and product development in the current rapidly advancing environment. The Senator paper does not contain specific recommendations which are expected to follow in legislation after hearings can be conducted. In their release the Senators said:
“Too many patients with no treatment options wait while potential treatments languish in laboratories awaiting further development, testing, and/or approval. At the same time, each additional $1 billion spent on pharmaceutical research and development results in fewer drugs than in years past,” it states. “The time and cost of developing medical products is increasing without a discussion of whether there is enough incremental assurance of safety and effectiveness for the additional delays and costs.”
To date no Democrats signed onto the Senate report. The entire Senate HELP paper can be viewed here.