Shea-Porter Applauds Passage of Childhood Cancer Treatment, Affordable Hearing Aid Priorities in Bipartisan Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) today praised House passage of a Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill that includes two pieces of legislation she has cosponsored and championed: the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 and the RACE for Children Act. The bill also contains a sense of Congress calling for action on the rising cost of prescription drugs.
“I am pleased that Congress is moving the ball forward on two crucial priorities we can all agree on: improving treatment for children with cancer and increasing seniors’ access to hearing aids,” said Shea-Porter. “Today’s legislation also calls for action on the outrageous and skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, and I hope we can take meaningful action to address this crisis with the urgency it deserves.”
The RACE for Children Act supports the development of novel and promising cancer drugs for children. It would update the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) to ensure that companies developing targeted adult therapies that are applicable to pediatric cancers also test these drugs for pediatric use. As scientific advances move the standard of treatment away from chemotherapy to molecular targeted drugs, RACE would help provide improved treatment to the over 15,000 American children per year who are diagnosed with some form of cancer.
The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 would allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter for people with low- to moderately-impaired hearing, just like reading glasses. The Consumer Technology Association says this bill would make hearing devices more affordable and readily available, estimating the over-the-counter cost at 10% of current prices. Today, hearing aids can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000, a price tag that many Americans simply cannot afford.