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Passage of 21st Century Cures Act!

December 7, 2016

Updated December 13, 2016

On December 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate approved the 21st Century Cures Act with a 94-5 vote, which follows the House of Representatives 392-26 vote on November 30. The measure reached the president’s desk for his signature on December 13; read more about the signing on the White House blog.

From the December 7 U.S. Senate session:
Video:This will make a difference in real people’s lives back home in our communities, and I’ve heard from those people like Carol Fulkerson in Bend (Oregon) who has MS. She’s ecstatic about this. She says it makes it possible to find a cure to MS. Can you imagine what that means in a person’s life?” – Rep. Greg Walden (OR). Carol is a District Activist Leader for the National MS Society.
The passage of the 21st Century Cures Act will accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of life-changing treatments and improve the day-to-day lives of people with multiple sclerosis,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, President and CEO of the National MS Society.

The bill includes a number of the MS movement's top priorities: 
  • Establishment of a data collection system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological conditions, otherwise known as the Neuro Data bill;
  • $4.8 billion in new funding for the National Institutes of Health and $500 million for the Food and Drug Administration to bring new treatments to patients;
  • A six-month extension protecting access to power complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) wheelchair accessories, which are fundamental components of the chair such as tilt-and-recline systems and specialized seat cushions.
“I applaud Congress for creating a pathway for promising innovation through the establishment of a data collection system for neurological diseases; providing new funding for the NIH and the FDA; protecting access to CRT wheelchair accessories and more. This groundbreaking legislation truly brings us one step closer to ending MS,” said Zagieboylo.
“This will be a game-changer,” said MS District Activist Leader Frank Austin of Pennsylvania. Austin was diagnosed with MS in 1999 and was deeply involved in the passage of the bill. “I’ll continue to advocate over the next few years so the funding is appropriated and the bill is effectively implemented.”

Learn more:

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


© 2020 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.