July 10, 2015 — The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 6, also known as the 21st Century Cures Act, by an overwhelming majority of 344-77. The legislation, which includes three provisions that are important to healthcare marketers, now heads to the Senate.
The bill’s authors, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-N.J.), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-Texas) commented: “Today, we took a big leap on the path to cures, but we still have much work left to do. The 344 votes today should be a springboard for action. On to the Senate.”
In the House, the bill had 230 co-sponsors and the support of more than 700 groups, including the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, which has praised the legislation’s inclusion of provisions that would: (1) exempt CME, reprints and reference texts from reporting under the Sunshine Act; (2) expand authority for biopharmaceutical companies to provide economic information to payers; and (3) direct the FDA to provide further guidance on off-label marketing.
“The Coalition for Healthcare Communication is pleased that so many members of our industry, the public and Congress have embraced this legislation, which will forward innovation and improve the care of patients across the country,” said Coalition Executive Director John Kamp. “It’s nice to see legislation this important move forward.”