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Alexander, Murray Introduce Budget Amendment to Ensure Cutting-Edge Medical Treatments Reach American Patients

Amendment would show support for ensuring America remains global leader in biomedical innovation

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26 – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today introduced a budget amendment to promote the research, development, and approval or licensure of the most cutting-edge, safe and effective medical treatments, devices, and cures for American patients and to ensure that America remains the global leader in biomedical innovation. 

Alexander said: “Today discoveries supported by NIH often do not come to FDA’s door for six, eight, ten, or even twelve years, and the average cost to get a single drug from the laboratory through the approval process to the medicine cabinet is, according to some estimates, about $1 billion. Our committee’s initiative to examine and improve this process would affect nearly every single American, and it has support from the president and Secretary Burwell, while the House is conducting similar work on a parallel track.” 

Murray said: “Patients across the country should be able to get new, safe, and effective treatments as quickly as possible. By exploring ways to advance medical innovation and drive the development of critical new cures and treatments, we can make a huge difference for families now and for generations to come. The HELP Committee has a strong tradition of bipartisanship in this area, and I look forward to working with Chairman Alexander, the Administration, and all our colleagues to build on this tradition and improve the health and wellbeing of the families we serve.”

Alexander and Murray last month announced the launch of a bipartisan initiative to examine the process for getting safe treatments, devices and cures into patients’ medicine cabinets and doctors’ offices. They are also examining the roles of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in that process.

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