The U.S. House of Representatives passed two spending packages that boosted funds for both the FDA and the NIH, but device and generic drug makers saw other benefits. The House legislation would allow makers of biosimilars and generic drugs to sue brand names for blocking access to the index article, but also repealed the medical device tax, a change that would bolster development of the novel therapies that are the industry’s lifeline. Both spending bills carry numerous provisions related to the health care economy and will go to the Senate for passage, hopefully before the government runs out of money Dec. 20.
Looking to help patients requiring imaging of lungs or other internal structures, researchers from the NIH and Siemens Healthineers AG, of Erlangen, Germany, have developed a high-performance, low magnetic-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that also could prove safer for those with pacemakers or defibrillators.
Francis Collins, director of the U.S. NIH, said in a public forum that the agency is "really bullish" about precision medicine. However, while precision medicine requires mounds of data, which soon may be available, Collins said the NIH All of Us research program has drawn the interest of more than 300,000 willing participants to date, adding that the target enrollment of 1 million should be accomplished before the end of 2022.