Engel Supported Bill to Improve Children's Health Included in Hearing

Engel Supported Bill to Improve Children’s Health Included in Hearing

Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top Member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, participated in a legislative hearing today which included legislation he is co-leading to help develop treatments for pediatric cancers and other rare diseases affecting children.

“Our nation has made remarkable strides in developing new treatments for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses,” said Engel. “Many of these therapies, however, are only approved for treating adults. While we have made strides in including more children in clinical trials, more must be done to close the gap. The Creating Hope Reauthorization Act helps address this issue by encouraging more research and innovation into therapies specifically for children. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important bill.”

The Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher program encourages more research into therapies for children by providing a voucher that innovators can use to expedite federal review of their medical products. Additionally, innovators can sell these vouchers to raise capital to invest in biomedical research. Without Congressional action, this priority review voucher program will expire later this year. The Creating Hope Reauthorization Act, H.R. 4439, co-led by Congressman Engel, would make this program permanent, helping protect incentives for developing new pediatric therapies.

This legislation builds on Congressman Engel’s longstanding efforts to improve children’s health care. Last September, Congressman Engel introduced the bipartisan Pediatricians Accelerate Childhood Therapies Act, H.R. 4519, which would bolster programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the development of the next generation of physician-scientists focused on children’s health. On July 10, 2020, he led over 80 Members of the House on a letter to NIH urging the agency to develop a robust research agenda to understand the impact of coronavirus on children.