Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) introduced S. 914, the Cures Acceleration Network and National Institutes of Health Reauthorization Act of 2009.

The bill has three main components:

1. Establishes a new, independent federal agency, to be known as the “Cures Acceleration Network” (CAN), which would award grants and contracts to accelerate the development of cures and treatments of diseases. Research supported by CAN would focus on translating scientific discoveries from bench to bedside.Funds awarded by CAN would support both the development of medical products and behavioral interventions. Entities eligible for CAN research funding include academic investigators, private industry, and disease and patient advocacy organizations.

2. Reauthorizes the NIH at $40 billion for FY 2010, and such sums as necessary for FY 2011 and FY 2012. Additionally, the NIH extramural conflicts of interest policy would be strengthened, requiring greater financial disclosure from NIH grantees.

3. The National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) would be elevated to an Institute, and renamed the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Go Senator Specter

Joel T. Nowak MA, MSW