WASHINGTON — The bipartisan duo behind a 2016 law that poured billions into medical research want to repeat their success. But so far, the pharmaceutical industry that helped push the first version across the finish line isn’t nearly so eager to lend the new effort much support.
The 21st Century Cures Act has been lauded since its passage for both the funding it included and its revamp of the regulatory landscape for medical breakthroughs. The bill’s architects, Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) have spent the last four months pushing a sequel, dubbed Cures 2.0, on a mini speaking tour around Washington.
But drug makers and their lobbyists — whose support was critical to the nearly abandoned Cures 1.0 — are busy fending off or negotiating to limit the litany of legislative proposals aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs, according to four drug industry lobbyists who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of their clients. At least for now, they’re also concerned that some of those drug pricing bills could ultimately be swept up into any Cures 2.0 package — a fate that nearly befell the first version, even before the issue became a bipartisan priority.