WASHINGTON — On a “bittersweet day” that brought back memories of loved ones lost, President Barack Obama signed into law legislation that makes new investments in cancer research and battling drug abuse.

Obama signed the bill Tuesday at a ceremony on the White House campus flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and key lawmakers. The 55-year-old president recounted that his own mother did not even reach his age, dying of cancer in her early 50s.

“It’s not always easy to remember, but being able to honor those we’ve lost in this way and to know that we may be able to prevent other families from feeling that same loss, that makes it a good day,” Obama said. “It’s a good day to see us doing our jobs.”

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The 21st Century Cures Act invests $1.8 billion for a cancer research “moonshot” that is strongly supported by Biden. The vice president’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015.

The bill also authorizes giving states $1 billion over two years to prevent and treat the abuse of opioids and other addictive drugs like heroin.

Overall, the measure plans $6.3 billion in new spending over the coming decade. The bill also streamlines the approval process for drugs and medical devices at the Food and Drug Administration.

Biden said he believed the bill would inject new urgency into fighting cancer and would give millions of Americans hope that they will be able to have their lives extended through research that will bring about new cures and treatments.

“Every day, millions of people are praying, praying for hope, praying for time,” Biden said.

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  • This is a greatest program on science and technology and we are very fortunate to have President Obama with research for discovery of the “Precision Medicine” and Vice President Joe Biden for “Cancer Moonshot”. The next generation are blessed and if we succeed it’ll be history for the great US globally. Precision Medicine and Cancer Moonshot are greatest and to succeed we need NIH, NCI, CDC, HHS, FDA and bringing it together is a blessing for Global Health.

  • Some states are so slow to open treatment facilities, It is not unusual, for a person to drive 100 miles to find a clinic. STOP the heroin, before it gets in the
    country? If there are no drugs available, no one can abuse them?

    • We treat, care for, and support people and families dealing with mental illness . Big insurance companies are getting rich on the help of mental illness . The help never get the people or families help to deal with. State of Mass are closing places to save money, we’re going backwards instead of forward in treatment. Private vendors and insurance company are getting rich on the backs of people with mental illness. If people with mental illness get the treatment they need they will not self medicate. Mental illness and drug addiction go hand and hand do not help one and not help the other. Stop giving money to the wrong people it never get to the people in need.

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