RACE for Children Passes the House

Jul 12, 2017 Issues: BPCA and PREA Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Michael T. McCaul (R-TX-10) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) released the following statements after their bipartisan bill, H.R. 1231, RACE for Children Act (Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children Act), passed the House with overwhelming support.

Congressman McCaul: “I founded the Childhood Cancer Caucus when I first entered Congress to give a voice to the over 15,000 children diagnosed with cancer each year and the hundreds of thousands of survivors who face a lifetime of medical challenges. Today’s passage of RACE is a great first step in providing these children access to the treatments they deserve.  I believe it is incumbent upon each of us – especially those elected to serve – to do our part to rid this world of cancer, for the sake of my children and yours. As my close friend Sadie Keller - who is battling leukemia - says, ‘together we can make a difference.’”

Congressman Butterfield: “As co-chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus, I am proud that the House approved this important bill. This legislation is necessary to update the law and save thousands of children’s lives.  I thank Congressman McCaul for being a reliable partner in this effort.  This is an example of Congress working together to get things done.  I urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly pass this legislation so the medical community can continue making strides in the fight against childhood cancer.”

Reps. McCaul and Butterfield re-introduced the RACE for Children Act in March.

The RACE for Children Act, which was first introduced in the 114th Congress, would update the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) to reflect the latest advances in cancer drug development using molecular targets.  Unlike the current structure of PREA, which applies to specific indications or specific types of cancer, this legislation would allow PREA to focus on a molecular target in a specific adult cancer when the same target presents in another childhood cancer.  Currently, a PREA exemption may also be applied if the company studies the drug in an adult cancer that occurs in less than 200,000 patients.  This bill would allow pediatric studies with a particular molecular target to still be considered for these cancers.

The bill is supported by the Duke University Medical Center, Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Nemours Children’s Health System, NYU Langone Medical Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and more than 100 pediatric cancer advocacy organizations.