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Provisions of McCarthy’s FORWARD Act Approved by House Committee

Yesterday, provisions from Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s legislation, the Finding Orphan-disease Remedies With Antifungal Research and Development (FORWARD) Act – a bill to combat Valley Fever – were included in broader Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fee reauthorization legislation (H.R. 7667) that was reported out of the Energy and Commerce Committee by a bipartisan unanimous vote of 55-0. This action, which follows a committee hearing on the FORWARD Act on March 17, 2022, primes H.R. 7667 to be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

McCarthy released the following statement:

“Countless residents of the Central Valley have been plagued by Valley Fever over the years and there have been challenges with developing new drugs and vaccines for this fungal disease. After yesterday’s committee approval of FORWARD Act provisions, we are taking another important step closer to help provide new resources for Valley Fever treatments.

“I want to thank local Valley Fever advocates, doctors, and researchers, as well as Valley Fever Task Force Co-Chair Congressman David Schweikert, for their relentless commitment to finding a cure and vaccine. I will continue to work with Valley Fever advocates and stakeholders to stamp out this disease and I urge House leadership to bring H.R. 7667 to the floor for a vote.”

Background:

H.R. 7667 is bipartisan legislation that reauthorizes important FDA user fee programs that help the agency approve new medicines and are set to expire September 30, 2022.

FORWARD Act provisions in H.R. 7667 include:

    • Requiring the FDA to hold a public workshop and issue a “guidance for industry document” to bring together patients, doctors, and researchers and streamline the development of new Valley Fever drugs and vaccines; and,
    • Providing qualified infectious disease product (QIDP) incentives to antifungal biologics, such as Valley Fever vaccines.

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