Long sponsors bill to increase at-risk newborn treatments

Posted on May 12, 2016 09:13 am CDT

KSPR-33 By: Unknown

WASHINGTON, D.C. An Ozarks congressman is pushing for new treatments to help  newborn babies. 

Rep. Billy Long, (R) Missouri-7th District, co-sponsors the “Promoting Life-Saving New Therapies for Neonates Act of 2016.” The bill aims to increase the availability of life-saving treatments for at-risk newborns. It also looks to heighten innovation in neonatal drug therapies, improve outcomes for infants with devastating ailments, and give hope for a healthy  life to those newborns that are most vulnerable. 

“Families with children who are born prematurely or sick simply do not have enough options to save their newborns,” said Long. “Only one drug has been approved to help treat these infant patients in the past 16 years, while about 200,000 children are still being born each year that need intensive neonatal care in the US.”

Long said the legislation proposes to:

• Close the treatment gap by stimulating the development of safe and effective drugs for a challenging and neglected pediatric population. 
• Ensure that new neonatal drugs address the most critical needs in the neonatal population by collaborating with multiple stakeholders, such as the NIH, the Critical Path Institute, and patient advocacy groups, to identify priority conditions. 
• Create a new incentive model by providing a transferrable “exclusivity voucher” to drug sponsors who successfully develop products for neonates. This voucher would enable the product sponsor to extend the exclusivity period on another drug by one year. 

Long said the bill addresses issues that affect rural Missouri and the rest of the country. 

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