House overwhelmingly approves sweeping cancer measure

curesactcongressBy Jennifer Steinhauer and Sabrina Tavernise | The New York Times

The House overwhelmingly passed a far-reaching measure on Wednesday to increase funding for research into cancer and other diseases, address weaknesses in the nation’s mental health systems and help combat the prescription drug addictions that have bedeviled nearly every state.

The bill, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, also makes regulatory changes for drugs and medical devices, which critics argue lower standards to potentially perilous levels.

Passage of the bill in the Senate next week appears likely, even though Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, has taken to the floor twice to criticize the bill as a windfall for drug companies, with too few safety provisions. “The American people are not clamoring for the Cures bill,” Ms. Warren said on Wednesday, calling it the sort of measure that explains “why people hate Washington.”

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