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House panel approved medical testing bill backed by Collins

A key House committee on Thursday unanimously passed legislation aimed at making it easier for new medical treatments to come to market, and Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, had a big hand in it.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 51-0. The bill includes provisions pushed by Collins that:

• Encourage the use of adaptive clinical trials, in which patients are monitors and test-drug doses are adjusted according to their reaction.

• Require the Food and Drug Administration to establish guidelines for those adaptive trials.

• Enable the FDA to hire more biomedical researchers, and to pay them more.

Collins said he was thrilled at the bipartisan support of the legislation, saying it replaces federal drug-testing legislation that was 50 years old and out of date.

“It makes sure these drugs come through the FDA process faster,” he said of the legislation. “This is just good common sense.”