Senate Health panel floats proposal for speedy FDA approval of life-saving drugs

The draft includes legislation introduced last week by Sen. Michael BennetMichael BennetOvernight Finance: House votes to repeal arbitration rule | Yellen, Cohn on Trump's list for Fed chief | House passes Russia sanctions deal | GOP centrists push back on border wall funding Tax credits bring much needed relief Senate Dem: No clarity, 'little competence' behind travel ban MORE (D-Colo.) that would expedite FDA approval and provide more flexibility when a drug or treatment shows dramatic responses early in development.

"We're seeing major breakthroughs in drugs and other treatments for debilitating and terminal diseases, but we're not always getting them to patients though the most efficient and safe pathways," Bennet said in a statement Wednesday. "This bipartisan plan is a good starting point to ensure patients have access to safe, innovative treatments as quickly as possible."

The proposal would become part of legislation to reauthorize user fee legislation, which expires Sept. 30.