Developing New Cures

21st Century Cures

In 2014, Rep. DeGette undertook an initiative to accelerate the pace at which our nation develops new cures and treatments for some of the world’s most stubborn diseases. 

In taking on this challenge, she soon found a partner in Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan. They would go on to spend the next several years talking to experts and stakeholders from across the country to understand what needed to be done to speed-up the way our country delivers breakthrough new treatments to patients. They held countless hearings, meetings and roundtable discussions – all in an effort to gather as much input and feedback as they could from those who knew the issue best.

In May 2015, Reps. DeGette and Upton unveiled their plan, known as the 21st Century Cures Act. It was approved by Congress in 2016 and signed into law by President Obama that same year.

In the years since the landmark legislation was signed into law, our nation has become better at screening for and preventing certain types of cancer. We have improved our understanding of the human brain and we are making significant strides in the field of regenerative medicine. We’ve developed new treatments for cystic fibrosis, increased funding for Alzheimer’s research and are on the cusp of finding a cure for sickle cell anemia. And we’ve seen a record number of new generic drugs approved for the market, which are helping to lower the cost of health care for millions of Americans.

The 21st Century Cures Act has been widely hailed as a major success, both for how it has modernized our medical research fields and as an example of how Congress is supposed to work. And now Reps. DeGette and Upton are looking to build upon that success even more.

President Obama signs 21st Century Cures

Cures 2.0

In July 2019, in an effort to build upon the tremendous success of the 21st Century Cures Act, Reps. DeGette and Upton announced they were working on another major piece of legislation to further improve the way our nation delivers new life-saving treatments to patients.

They are calling that new bill “Cures 2.0.” While the original 21st Century Cures Act focused on discovering and developing new cures, Cures 2.0 bill will focus on improving how those new treatments are delivered to the patients who need them.

In November 2019, Reps. DeGette and Upton released their initial vision for their new Cures 2.0 legislation.

Click here to see the full document detailing the lawmakers’ initial vision for Cures 2.0.

DeGette and Upton pose with thank you notes