House passes sweeping health innovation bill with $1 billion for opioids

by Bob Davis | November 30, 2016


WASHINGTON—The House approved a sweeping health policy bill on Wednesday aimed at sparking medical innovation, strengthening mental health services, and curbing the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic.

The measure, called the 21st Century Cures Act,would channel nearly $4.8 billion over the next decade to the National Institutes of Health for cutting-edge research on everything from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer to traumatic brain injury. It would also increase funding for the Food and Drug Administration, speed up approval for new drugs and medical devices, and provide $1 billion in new funding over the next two years for opioid addiction prevention and treatment programs.

"This is going to be a game-changer," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said at a news conference Wednesday. "It will fundamentally transform the way that we treat and cure diseases in this country."

“This legislation can help create real change for the millions of Americans impacted by the opioid crisis,” the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose said in a statement on the eve of House passage.