National Health Council Pledges to Work with Senate as it Addresses Innovation for Healthier Americans

Washington, DC (January 29, 2015) –National Health Council Chief Executive Officer Myrl Weinberg issued the following statement after the release of a white paper on Innovation for Healthier Americans by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Committee member Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC):

“It is heartening to see both the House and Senate moving forward on issues of great importance to people with chronic disease and disabilities. This gives the patient community hope that progress will be made on crucial health issues facing our country.

“The Senate white paper echoes several issues raised repeatedly by the patient advocacy community, such as the need to encourage the development of new drugs for unmet medical needs and the urgency of strengthening the FDA and NIH. The report raises pointed questions on complex topics that Congress has wrestled with for years, which is a crucial first step to reaching consensus on workable solutions.

“We look forward to working with Chairman Alexander, Ranking Member Murray, Senator Burr, and the other members of the HELP Committee to confront these challenges. We agree that better treatments and cures for unmet medical needs will only come about through cooperative efforts by NIH, FDA, industry, patients, and other stakeholders. We are committed to engaging the patient community in this important discussion to ensure that people with chronic conditions have a voice in the process to improve access to the best care possible so they can live longer and better lives.”

Earlier this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released draft legislation as part of its 21st Century Cures initiative, which also addresses issues related to advancing the creation of new treatments and cures.

Founded in 1920, the National Health Council (NHC) is the only organization that brings together all segments of the health community to provide a united and effective voice for the more than 133 million people living with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Its core membership includes the nation’s leading patient advocacy organizations, which control its governance. Other members include professional and membership associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and major pharmaceutical, health insurance, medical device, and biotechnology companies.

For more information:

Contact:
Nancy Hughes
nhughes@nhcouncil.org
Cell: 703-608-9709