WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for today's overwhelming approval of the 21st Century Cures Act. This law, if enacted by the full Congress, will significantly speed access to new lifesaving therapies for blood cancer patients.
"With more than 240 medicines in the development pipeline for blood cancers, we are on the brink of realizing exciting advances," said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS's president and chief executive officer. "Yet, the path from bench to bedside takes almost 10 years—far too long for the more than 156,000 Americans diagnosed with blood cancer each year. This bill will help break down the unnecessary barriers that stand between patients and the next lifesaving breakthrough. LLS looks forward to working with the Senate as they advance parallel reforms later this year."
LLS has worked with Congress over the past year to help lawmakers develop the Cures bill, a bipartisan Congressional initiative to invest in medical research and remove outdated impediments that slow the discovery and development of new therapies. In addition to DeGennaro's testimony during a 2014 House committee roundtable on personalized medicine, LLS advocates have engaged their elected officials across the country.
"Patients and their families have sent more than 14,000 letters to Capitol Hill urging their representatives to pass this bill," said DeGennaro. "Blood cancer advocates have brought their message to their representatives—both at home and in DC—and today's vote is a big victory for them."
LLS has been particularly vocal about the need for Congress to promote patient perspectives during the drug discovery and development process.
"The 21st Century Cures Act takes bold steps to empower patient voices and focus researchers and regulators on what matters to patients," said DeGennaro. "Encouraging the use of patient reported outcomes in clinical trials and incorporating patient perspectives into benefit risk decisions will strengthen the process and produce better results for patients."
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Contact: Andrea Greif
Tel: (914) 821-8958
Cell: (914) 772-3027
SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society