We always enjoy having our congressman Fred Upton on the show.  Over the years we've done plenty of joking around and having fun.  Lately, though, things have gotten more serious because the world and our lives have gotten more serious.

Today he was, once again, talking about the 21st Century Cures Initiative and brought with him his congressional colleague Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-Colorado.

Mark Wilson- Getty Images
Mark Wilson- Getty Images


It's amazing the progress they've made in fast-tracking and accelerating new treatments for patients who need them now.  Check for yourself how close we are to making the miracles come true.




In the 21st century, health care innovation is happening at lightning speed. Health research is moving quickly, but the federal drug and device approval apparatus is in many ways the relic of another era. We have dedicated scientists and bold leaders at agencies like the NIH and the FDA, but when our laws don’t keep pace with innovation, we all lose.


That’s why, with 21st Century Cures, we are seeking to ensure there is not a major gap between the science of cures and the way we regulate these therapies. We want to save more lives and keep this country as the world leader in innovation.


For more than a year, the Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Chairman Fred Upton, R-­‐St. Joseph, in a bipartisan effort with Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-­‐Colorado, has taken a comprehensive look at what steps Congress can take to accelerate the pace of cures in America. We have looked at the full arc of this process – from the discovery of clues in basic science, to streamlining the drug and device development process, to unleashing the power of digital medicine and social media at the treatment delivery phase.




The 21st Century Cures effort will not only help patients, families, researchers, and doctors; this initiative will have a significant impact on our local businesses and organizations as well. As Fred has said, “Whether it’s cutting edge Parkinson’s research happening at the Van Andel Institute, the potential game-­‐changing diabetes treatments under development at Metabolic Solutions, or the breakthroughs that continue to happen at Pfizer and Stryker, our region of Michigan has proven it’s at the forefront of advances in the life sciences field.” By streamlining government rules and improving the regulations we can ensure that these organizations are able to get cures and treatments to patients faster and more efficiently.



The legislative phase of #Cures2015 has begun. Stay up to date with the committee’s progress at energycommerce.house.gov/cures, on Facebook at facebook.com/EnergyCommerceCures, and on Twitter @ECcures. Engage in the conversation using #Cures2015.



The 21st Century Cures Initiative



Health Innovation on the Fast Track: Accelerating

New Treatments for Patients Who Need Them Now


“Getting approval for life-saving and improving drugs and medical devices has become the focus of one of Michigan’s most influential congressmen.”

- “Upton Bill Would Speed Up FDA Approval,” WOOD TV, February 18, 2015


“Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) of the Committee on Energy and Commerce threw down the gauntlet by asking all stakeholders across the drug discovery, development and delivery spectrum the following question – How do we accelerate the pace of cures in America? … Failure is not an option for the patients we serve.”

- “ThePath to Next Generation Treatments and Cures,” The Hill, February 9, 2015


“Congress has identified biopharmaceutical  innovation as one of the most important issues to address in 2015 through the 21st Century Cures initiative. They have boldly ventured into the arena of policy issues that go beyond reform of regulatory bodies and additional governmental funding for research. They collaborated in a bipartisan manner in identifying delivery as a key area for policy.”

- “Cures Without Access No Cure At All,” Morning Consult, January 23, 2015


“The process itself has been a rare bright spot of comity and bipartisanship in the Congress, and a positive undertaking by members and staff to address a number of the entrenched systemic challenges in medical research that have become status quo.”

- “Top10MedicalResearch Issues and Trends to Watch in 2015,” Huffington Post, January 15, 2015


“Medical breakthroughs…  have caught the attention of policy makers who recognize the need to revamp the notoriously slow process of bringing medical innovations to the market.”

– “Partnering for Cures: Medical innovators team up to treat deadly diseases,” Fox News, November 20, 2014


“For those who have despaired of the two parties in Congress working together on behalf of important goals, brace yourselves for some good news: A powerful House Republican and Colorado’s own Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette are joining in an ambitious effort to restructure funding and regulations around biomedical research to foster innovation and life-saving products. It’s an important collaboration called 21st Century Cures. Not only could it accelerate biomedical breakthroughs,  it could also ensure the United States retains its lead as the center of innovation — a lead that has eroded in recent years.”

– “A (political) Breakthrough on Biomedical Research,” The Denver Post, September 20, 2014


“How can we give patients faster access to innovative treatments and cures? That’s the question being asked of our nation’s foremost medical experts and innovators by members of the House of Representatives’  Energy and Commerce Committee through an initiative called ‘21st Century Cures.’”

– “Biopharma Answers the Call for Cures,” The Hill, September 8, 2014


“What is needed now is a national effort to overhaul an outdated clinical trial paradigm that serves too few patients at too high a cost – in dollars and lost lives. Fortunately, there is a long-term, bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives  to truly accelerate patient access to important new therapies. The 21st Century Cures Initiative, led by Energy and Commerce Chairman

Fred Upton (R, MI), and Rep. Diana DeGette (D, CO) is bringing stakeholders together to transform how America discovers, develops, and delivers new medicines.”

– “WeNeed 21st Century Clinical Trials to Produce 21st Century Cures,” Morning Consult, July 9, 2014


“What makes this effort unique is that even those advocates not invited to sit at the conference table are encouraged to join in the discussion through social media.”

– “House Energy & Commerce on the #Path2Cures,”  CQ Roll Call, June 20, 2014


“This initiative has the makings of something groundbreaking,  and given Chairman Upton and the Energy & Commerce

Committee’s track record of tackling big problems, the entire health care community should be paying attention.”

– “Life Sciences: A New Opportunity for Innovation,” Morning Consult, June 5, 2014


“Yet hope springs eternal, even in DC. On Tuesday in 2123 RHOB, the hearing room of E & C, Upton announced that he is working toward a ‘21st century cures initiative,’ which he defined as ‘a collaborative, bipartisan effort that aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs  in the US.’ In so announcing and defining, Upton made a significant departure from the familiar battle-as-usual  pattern of Congress.”

– “Hope Comes to RHOB 2123: Fred Upton Leads a Cure Strategy for the 21st Century,” Breitbart, May 9, 2014



energycommerce.house.gov/cures            @ECcures          facebook.com/EnergyCommerceCures

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