<p style="margin-left: 0in;">The future of healthcare is preeminent on NACDS&rsquo; radar, as the landscape continues to change at a dizzying pace. Congress is also working to not only keep up with the shifting tide, but also responding with innovative ideas to ensure America is at the forefront of medicine and discovery. </p>
<p style="margin-left: 0in;">Recently, Robert Horne, a professional staff member on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, spoke at an NACDS-facilitated Rx 4 US coalition meeting about issues including a new, bipartisan initiative&mdash;<a href="http://energycommerce.house.gov/cures">21<sup>st</sup> Century Cures</a>&mdash;aimed at accelerating the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the U.S.&nbsp;</p>
<p style="margin-left: 0in;">Launched by Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and committee member Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), the initiative seeks to harness the power of technology and bring together researchers, innovators and patients in order to understand diseases better and advance research that will lead toward cures.</p>
<p style="margin-left: 0in;">Describing the compelling need for the initiative, Rep. Upton said, &ldquo;We want to know how to close the gaps between advances in scientific knowledge about cures and the regulatory policies created to save more lives.&rdquo;</p>
<p style="margin-left: 0in;">The committee will collaborate broadly with the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies, as well as patients and leading-edge scientific researchers. Rep. DeGette said Congress will look comprehensively &ldquo;at the full arc of the process&mdash;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.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p>
<p style="margin-left: 0in;">The legislators hope the multi-year collaborative effort will accelerate medical advancements and make the predominant diseases of today a thing of the past. They also have indicated an openness to including pharmacy innovation topics in the scope of the initiative&rsquo;s work.</p>
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