On December 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act. This act is the result of a great deal of bipartisan work and demonstrates that Democrats and Republicans are able to reach across the aisle for the good of the American people. Because of this act, researchers, doctors, and the American public can look forward to five different benefits that should last through the next decade if not longer.

  • Those who are fighting against the overwhelming opioid addiction epidemic occurring across the country will find more resources readily available to them than they once had. Sadly, this epidemic has surpassed motor vehicle accidents in the number of deaths that it causes every year. The Cures Act provides a variety of organizations and departments with $1 billion dollars in this fight.
  • The Cures Act continues the support of the Cancer Moonshot started by Vice President Joe Biden following the President’s last State of the Union Address. Cancer Moonshot seeks a cure for at least some types of cancer within the next decade. This act provides money for research into cancer cures.
  • The act also supports President Obama’s BRAIN initiative, which focuses on research into several types of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. $3 billion is being invested into this initiative for researchers to search for treatments and cures and to work on creating new and better drugs for numerous diseases.
  • The Cures Act also allocates money into President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, another model that allows scientists to further medical research into drugs and cures.
  • Finally, the act tackles the mental health problem across the nation and provides resources and models to follow for streamlining care between primary care doctors and mental health doctors. It also places a focus on strategizing for better ways to prevent suicides across the country and provides help for those who need preventative mental health services. The act uses President Obama’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force as a springboard for further accomplishments.

Clearly, the 21st Century Cures Act has long been needed in America to combat growing healthcare problems and to create better quality of life and longer length of life for millions of Americans. It will create lasting changes in the medical research realms as well as in numerous government agencies, such as the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.