As the next step in the 21st Century Cures initiative they launched last year, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and committee member Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) laid out plans Tuesday for legislation they plan to introduce later this month based on research spurred by the initiative, which seeks to facilitate the discovery, development and delivery of medical therapies that will help people live longer and healthier lives.

In a CNN op-ed, the bipartisan lawmakers pointed to compelling motivation for the NACDS-supported initiative: There are 7,000 diseases, and cures and treatments for only 500 of them. This challenge led the legislators to ask, “What policies and can we enact to help get more cures and treatments to patients?

The legislators outlined several areas of reform, including modernized clinical trials; integrating the patient perspective in the regulatory process; better sharing of information; investing in the future of science; and incentivizing new drugs and devices.

In a July 2014 letter supporting the initiative, NACDS highlighted the important role pharmacy plays in advancing patient care, “Through personal interactions with patients and face-to-face consultations, pharmacies are helping to shape the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow.”

In their op-ed, Upton and DeGette said the 21st Century Cures initiative is a bipartisan effort that seeks to overcome longtime healthcare obstacles and “melt the polarization of Washington.”