21st Century Cures doesn't reduce crushing drug prices. It doesn't really expand the invention of new cures. And it doesn't increase access to lifesaving therapies.
What does it do?
- Legalizes fraud:
It's against the law for drug companies to market drugs for uses not
approved by the FDA. You can't sell a headache pill as a cure for
cancer. Drug companies have paid billions in penalties for "off-label
marketing." Instead of following the law, they've cozied up to Congress
to have the Cures bill shoot holes in it.
- Covers up bribery:
Currently, drug companies have to disclose the buckets of money, gifts,
giveaways, and free trips they give doctors and hospitals as kickbacks
to use certain drugs. Once again, drug companies cozied up to Congress
to gut that disclosure rule, allowing any gift related to "medical
education" to be exempt.
- Hands out special deals to GOP donors: A major Republican donor to Mitch McConnell's Super PAC has big business plans to sell dangerous, unproven stem cell treatments before they have been approved by the FDA as safe and effective. Now that donor is collecting on his investment. The Cures bill creates a special deal so people can sell these treatments without meeting the FDA gold standards for protecting patient safety, undermining the integrity of the FDA and the safety of untold numbers of desperate patients.
There's more: Medicare cuts, making life harder for people with disabilities, raiding money from the Affordable Care Act, even a gun provision—but not even a 1% increase in funding for NIH.
We need to invest in medical innovation in America, but we shouldn't do it by handing over control to Big Pharma and Republican donors. Tell the House and Senate to say NO to this deal and keep fighting for a better 21st Century Cures Act.