Will Congress Commit to Investing in Brain Disease?

Every year, millions of people suffer from a brain disease, disorder or injury. Yet research on these conditions remains complex and sometimes frustrating. 

Treatments for neurologic diseases cost more to develop and fail at a greater rate, often stifling needed investment. As a result, few treatments exist that address not just the symptoms but the underlying disease. Now, policymakers are poised to change that. 

A Bold Congressional Step 

Bipartisan congressional efforts are underway that would pave the way for a Neuroscience Center of Excellence to accelerate the prevention, treatment and curing of neurological diseases. Legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate to create such a Center. 

Modeled after the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence, a neuroscience-focused center would spur innovation and make critical advances for people living with conditions that impact the brain and central nervous system. It would also affirm the value of the patient voice in the regulatory process. 

Working Smarter for Patients 

The experts at the Neuroscience Center of Excellence would tackle challenges related to drug and device development. They would also establish clear pathways to turn promising research into usable treatments. 

That entails improving coordination of regulatory activities. Streamlining reviews and approvals, for example, would reduce the time it takes to bring breakthrough therapies to market. 

Additionally, the Center would house several new programs that: 

·       Aim to improve the understanding of the long-term neurological impacts of COVID-19 

·       Support better integration of digital health technology tools into the neuroscience product review process 

·       Work to reduce disparities in neuroscience research and seek new ways to increase clinical trial participation among historically underrepresented groups. 

Advocates Excited by the Opportunity 

The American Brain Coalition, The Headache & Migraine Policy Forum and the Alliance for Patient Access are among the broad range of advocacy groups supportive of a dedicated neuroscience center. They point to its potential to advance patient-centered progress while bringing attention to brain-related conditions. 

The need to better manage neurologic disorders is enormous. So, too, are the challenges in developing the life-changing treatments that will make it possible. Legislation to establish a Neuroscience Center of Excellence signals a bold commitment to bring new therapies and cures to patients who desperately need them. 


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