As the New York Times reported this weekIn recent years, few major bills have commanded as much support as the 21st Century Cures Act, which sailed to passage by votes of 392 to 26 in the House on Nov. 30, and 94 to 5 in the Senate a week later.

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One of the Senators who voted for the legislation was Republican Kentucky Senator (Dr. ) Rand Paul. In a weekly email update from the Senator’s office, Paul explains support for the bill:

The growing opioid-abuse epidemic is more than just another item in the 24/7 news cycle.  It’s a heartbreakingly real crisis for far too many Kentucky families.

On Wednesday, I voted for further action to combat this crisis through the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the Senate by a vote of 95-4.

Cures will give states additional resources to fight opioid abuse through prevention activities and expanded access to treatment programs.  It also seeks to improve the federal government’s response to substance abuse and mental health issues.

Cures also brings reforms to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and its needed changes for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will decrease regulatory red tape for certain innovative drugs and devices.  Its spending provisions are fully offset with mandatory spending reductions.

In addition to confronting the opioid-abuse crisis, Cures’ increased resources and regulatory reforms will help in the diagnosis and treatment of deadly diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.