Senate HELP Committee Passes Another 7 Innovation Bills

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee yesterday passed an additional 7 bills out of committee. Along with the 7 bills previously passed out of committee, that makes 14 bills in total that have passed out of committee as part of the Senate’s “step-by-step” approach to Innovation and 21st Century Cures.

Among the bills passed is the Patient-Focused Impact Assessment Act of 2015 (S. 1597) sponsored by Senator Wicker (R-MS) along with Senators Klobuchar (D-MN), Collins (R-ME), Isakson (R-GA) and Bennet (D-CO), which would enhance FDA’s patient engagement and use of patient-focused drug development tools during the early development and review of medical product applications.

We continue to applaud the Senate committee’s progress on this legislation and are looking ahead to the final committee meeting on April 6th. In the meantime, our community must work to keep this momentum in the Senate going!

After the final committee meeting, all bills passed out of committee will need to go before the full Senate for consideration. We need your help in contacting your Senators and telling them about the importance of this legislation for the discovery of cures and treatments for SMA.

To ensure that these bills continue to advance, call the Senators in your state and urge them to support this legislation and bring it to a vote on the Senate floor.

  1. Visit and find your state and the contact information for your Senator.
  2. Tell the office your name, where you live, and urge your Senator to act on these Innovation bills. We’ve provided some talking points below to help.
  3. You can also reach out to your Senator through Twitter! Either ask the office for the Senator’s Twitter handle or find it using Twitter’s search function.

What To Say When You Call Your Senator

  • My name is _____________ and I live in town/city/state.
  • I am calling to ask that Senator LAST NAME support bringing Innovation bills, including S. 849 and S. 1597, to the Senate Floor for a vote as soon as possible.
  • I care about this legislation because I/my child/family member [NAME] have/has spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. This is a neurological disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants.
  • S. 849 would expand and enhance federal research on neurological diseases and would facilitate the collection and tracking of information on neurological diseases for use by federal agencies and the public, including researchers.
  • S. 1597 would enhance FDA’s patient engagement processes to more effectively incorporate the patients’ perspectives and experiences into the development and review of new drugs.
  • As a constituent, it is very important to me that the Senate move this legislation forward.

Tweet Your Support for 21st Century Cures/Innovation

  • @Senator No time to waste – the Senate must consider #Innovation2016 bills today to encourage R&D of new treatments & cures! @CureSMA
  • I/my son/daughter has SMA #Innovation2016 could help find new treatments or a cure. Please support #CuresNow! @Senator @CureSMA

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