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Alexander, Murray Announce Initiative to Examine Drug, Device Development and Review Process

Leaders of HELP Committee plan bipartisan working groups, series of hearings 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 - Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee, today announced they are launching a bipartisan initiative to examine the process for getting safe treatments, devices and cures to patients and the roles of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in that process.

Alexander said: “We want to modernize the way drugs and medical devices are discovered, developed, and approved. We will examine the work of the National Institutes of Health, which funds and enables much of the research that leads to medical breakthroughs, and the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates all the medical products we come in contact with. America’s patients deserve a review process to match the cures and life-changing treatments that American scientists today are discovering.” 

Murray said: “I’m looking forward to a bipartisan effort to strengthen our country’s leadership in developing life-saving, world-changing cures and treatments. As we look for ways to advance innovation for patients and families, I will keep working with Chairman Alexander and all of my colleagues to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of patient and consumer protection, so that patients continue to have complete confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the medicine their government has approved.”

The senators are planning to begin a bipartisan staff working group next week and a series of hearings in March that will examine the drug and medical device discovery and development process, and how to better align public policies to support medical innovation while maintaining high standards of consumer and patient safety.

The HELP Committee has had many bipartisan successes on complicated public health and FDA legislation, including the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act and the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act.

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For access to this release and Chairman Alexander’s other statements, click here