Pres. Obama set to sign bill boosting spending on cancer research

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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 02: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with United Nations Secretary-General-designate Antonio Guterres (L) in the Oval Office December 2, 2016 at the White House in Washington, DC. Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, will succeed Ban Ki-moon to be the next U.N. chief on January 1, 2017.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will sign legislation on Tuesday that makes new investments in cancer research and battling drug abuse.

The 21st Century Cures Act invests $1.8 billion for a cancer research “moonshot” that is strongly supported by Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Beau died of the disease.

Biden, who will speak at the signing ceremony, says “God willing, this bill will save lives.”

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, which some patient safety groups say is dangerous.