Obama signs bill boosting spending on cancer research

President Barack Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

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.

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