WASHINGTON — Congressman G.K Butterfield is celebrating President Obama’s signing of a law that he created to help sick children.
Butterfield co-sponsored the Creating Hope Act in the House of Representatives. The law creates federal incentives for pharmaceutical companies that develop drugs to treat rare childhood diseases like sickle cell anemia and cancer. Butterfield says the pharmaceutical industry devotes less time to the research and development of drugs to treat pediatric illnesses because other, more widely used medications can prove more profitable.
“The FDA approval process has been very cumbersome to say the least. And what this bill does is it creates a mechanism for expediting approval of those drugs. It’s an example of how Democrats and Republicans can work together when you have a common goal,” said Rep. Butterfield.
Butterfield co-sponsored the legislation with Texas Republican Congressman Michael McCaul. Since 1980, the Food and Drug Administration has approved only one new drug to treat childhood cancer. Among the new law's incentives, companies who develop drugs to treat pediatric illnesses will receive vouchers to expedite the FDA's review and approval process for their more profitable drugs. The law goes into effect in 90-days.