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14 December 2016, 06:44 | Elizabeth Houston
In his remarks before signing the bill, President Obama praised the bipartisan support behind the legislation and focused specifically on the funding for NIH research efforts, such as the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Cancer Moonshot and the BRAIN initiative.
Passage of the new law, is a way to "honor those we have lost in this way and to know that we may be able to prevent other families from feeling that same loss", Obama said.
The legislation also provides $1 billion to states to supplement opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities, such as improving prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).
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When the Senate passed the bill 94-5 on December 7, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., moved to have the section with funding for the cancer initiative after Beau Biden. The approval paves the way to help find new drugs and devices.
"I hope this bodes well for what will come next year, that we're back working together", he said of both parties. A mental health initiative was also part of the bill.
The bill also streamlines the approval process for drugs and medical devices at the Food and Drug Administration, which some patient safety groups say is risky.
"In this effort, Joe Biden has rallied not just Congress, but he has rallied a tremendous collection of researchers and doctors, philanthropists, patients", he said."He's showing us, that with the right investment and the ingenuity of the American people, to quote him, there isn't anything we can't do". "I believe that the United States of America should be the country that ends cancer once and for all", Obama said. Chris Murphy, of CT, who worked on the mental health provisions in the bill. Following Tuesday's signing, Congressman Upton tweeted, "We did it".
"Now, what Republicans have done is they have passed a handful of bills that do nothing other than strip away Obama administration initiatives", Earnest said.
Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., noted in an email that the White House itself keeps a list online of all the bills Obama has signed, "And there are 126 pages!"
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