The bipartisan measure, approved by the House in July, was attached to legislation that will allow the Silver Spring-based Food and Drug Administration to continue to collect fees from pharmaceutical companies to pay for drug reviews.
The specific provision on pediatric cancer would update a 2003 law and require drug companies to test potential adult therapies for childhood cancers in more cases.
“No childhood should be interrupted by a struggle for survival, but cancer tragically puts far too many kids in Maryland and across the country in a battle for their lives,” Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat said in a statement. “The legislation will modernize drug development regulations to help build on the progress being made at institutions like the National Institutes of Health.”
The Senate passed the bill 94-1, with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont the only ‘no’ vote.
“Pediatric cancer is a leading cause of death by disease among children and yet children do not have the same number of treatment options as adults,” Rubio said in a statement. “This bill will help fix that.”
President Donald J. Trump is expected to sign the legislation.