21st Century Cures

Vice President Joe Biden got emotional presiding over the Senate on Monday as it renamed a portion of the 21st Century Cures Act after Biden's son, Beau, who died from brain cancer in 2015.
We should and must continue to invest sufficiently in research to keep pace with scientific opportunity. Congress must increase funding for the NIH by at least 10 percent ($3.2 billion) in FY17 to help patients like Lorri who are determined to find solutions to what ails us.
The talk of a "moon shot" is the exact mindset that we need -- and America can and should lead the way. And the good news is, we're already half way there.
How good is the research conducted at the IRIs? A key metric is competition for NIH grants, which has gone from intense to extreme over the past decade. Grants are evaluated on five criteria: potential impact on human health, scientific approach, innovation, investigator expertise, and institutional environment.
While active skepticism of government is healthy, unwavering condemnation can be corrosive to a democracy that depends on participation. Fortunately, we see a glimmer of effective governance that contradicts the narrative of congressional incompetence as an embedded feature of our democracy.
It is not a bottleneck at the FDA that is to blame. Medical research is simply not producing the breakthroughs needed for breast cancer. And we should not let a reduction of safety and efficacy standards replace our demand for safer and more effective treatments.
In reality, however, this is relatively low-hanging fruit. Virtually no one in Congress publicly opposes greater funding
We believe more must be done to speed the development and delivery of treatments for cancer and many other diseases based on proven science, without compromising safety -- indeed, while increasing our confidence in these potentially valuable treatments.
No longer just passengers, patients are now co-pilots helping to navigate the future of medical progress. But until recently, the pace of progress has been slow. In some diseases, we still utter the words "we haven't seen a new treatment in decades" with a straight face. Decades. Are we seriously accepting this?
Academic research institutions are undeniably under duress. While some of it may be due to overbuilding research infrastructure during the years of doubling the National Institutes of Health budget, they are now dealing with a new normal of having to do more with less.