On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill creating a new health care agency that will focus on accelerating biomedical innovation in an attempt to find innovative mechanisms to detect and treat a number of diseases, including cancer.
Legislation, dubbed the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health Act, was passed by a vote of 336 to 85, with all of the “no” votes coming from Republicans. Six Republicans and two Democrats did not vote.
The bill calls for the creation of the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-H) within the Department of Health and Human Services.
The purpose of the agency, according to the law, is “to promote the development of new, breakthrough capabilities, technologies, systems and platforms to accelerate innovation in the field of healthcare and medicine that are not satisfied by federal programs or private organizations.”
The bill also says the new agency will work to expand “transformational healthcare technologies” that lawmakers say will revolutionize the way that serious diseases and conditions are detected, diagnosed, mitigated, prevented, treated, and treated.
To achieve these goals, the bill directs the new agency to discover and promote new advances in the science of health and develop new analytical methods to aid in the early detection and intervention of diseases.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) said the new agency will help “make the impossible possible.”
“What we need most now is a comprehensive approach to combating these diseases, and that is why this law was developed,” DeGette said during a discussion of the law.
“This will create a new cutting-edge research agency, ARPA-H, that will bring together some of the world’s greatest minds and give them access to the federal government’s seemingly unlimited resources to make the impossible possible,” she added.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) said the new program would be “a game-changer in health research,” comparing it to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is an agency in the Department of Defense. which oversees research and development. programs.
“Like DARPA, this organization will focus on doing research on things that, frankly, may be too risky for the private sector. It will move faster than the current structure,” Upton said.
“There may be a high failure rate, but his successes can be absolutely groundbreaking, answering the prayers of millions,” he added.
Earlier this week, the Biden administration backed the bill. In an administrative policy statement, the Office of Management and Budget said the bill would “provide a new way to catalyze revolutionary breakthroughs in healthcare that cannot be easily achieved through traditional research or commercial activities.”