Politics

Obama signs bill boosting spending on cancer research

President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act on Tuesday in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act on Tuesday in Washington.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation that makes new investments in cancer research and battling drug abuse.

Obama signed the bill at a ceremony on the White House campus flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and key lawmakers.

The 21st Century Cures Act invests $1.8 billion for a cancer research ‘‘moonshot’’ that is strongly supported by Biden. The vice president’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer in 2015.

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The bill also authorizes giving states $1 billion over two years to prevent and treat the abuse of opioids and other addictive drugs like heroin.

Overall, the measure plans $6.3 billion in new spending over the coming decade. The bill also streamlines the approval process for drugs and medical devices at the Food and Drug Administration.