Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

21st Century Cures

Improving the cycle from discovery to treatment A bipartisan group of House representatives, led by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), has released draft language for a sweeping health-related bill, the 21st Century Cures Act,  designed to speed up the process from research discoveries to real treatments and cures for people who need them. You can read the almost 400-page draft online, or the 6-page summary and discussion, which is a lot easier to get through! The proposed document is the result of months of discussion between legislators and constituents—including patients, physicians, researchers, hospitals, insurance companies, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and others. Another round of feedback is in process. The current draft includes 5 sections, entitled: Putting patients first by incorporating their perspectives into the regulatory process and addressing unmet medical needs Building the foundation for 21st century medicine, including helping young scientists […]

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Kennedy’s Message on Mental Illness: 50 Years Later

“We must act to bestow the full benefits of our society on those who suffer from mental disabilities.” John F. Kennedy, 1963 When John F. Kennedy was a young man, his sister Rosemary, age 23, was given a lobotomy. Rosemary was thought to be mentally retarded, and had also developed behavioral problems—mood swings, violent temper tantrums—as she became a young adult. The lobotomy was a disaster. The previously lively Rosemary spent the rest of her long life in an institution, mentally and physically incapacitated. This experience no doubt motivated President Kennedy to send his “Special Message to the Congress on Mental Retardation and Mental Illness” 50 years ago, on February 5, 1963. (Listen to a sound recording of his remarks here.) Kennedy focused primarily on the need for better services for the mentally ill, specifically the need to replace the antiquated and often inhumane system of state-run psychiatric hospitals with community-based […]

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