On April 6, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee passed several bills, by voice vote, including the Advancing NIH Strategic Planning and Representation in Medical Research Act (S. 2745). The House approved a separate measure, H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, which incorporates several similar provisions, on July 10 (see The Source, 7/10/16).
Sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the measure would require collaboration among the national research institutes and national centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as appropriate, to enhance diversity in clinical research by including data on women and members of minority groups.
The bill also would require the directors of the national institutes and centers at NIH to consult at least once annually with the director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health to ensure that their future activities take into account women and minorities and are focused on reducing health disparities.
In support of the legislation, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) stated: “[This] bill would work to better incorporate women and minority populations into NIH research…by creating a task force on research specific to pregnant and new mothers, requiring NIH to develop measures to report health information about sexual and gender minorities, and establishing a working group to improve analysis of sex differences in research.”