By a 94-to-five vote, the Senate today approved the 21st Century Cures Act, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign the measure into law. The massive bill dedicates $4.8 billion over the next decade to research initiatives at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and makes an array of changes at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designed to speed the approval of new drugs and medical devices. It also creates a new federal advisory board aimed at cutting burdensome regulation on academic researchers. The House of Representatives on 30 November passed the bill on a 392-to-26 vote.
Many research and university groups applauded the Senate vote.
“At a time when bipartisanship is a rare commodity, this bill…