Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) discusses the fate of the 21st Century Cures Act, which Wasserman Schultz helped spearhead and pass last year. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

“There’s no question in my mind that the most significant gap in [the 21st Century Cures Act] is that it did not take on the astronomical and soaring prescription-drug-price crisis. We are really being priced out of the ability to afford drugs. Our health-care system is being priced out of the ability to do that.

“While that is a glaring omission, I know Democrats are committed to aggressively pressing for making sure that we can take this on, and hopefully we’ll be joined by our Republican colleagues as well. [I’m] not sure if we’ll take similar approaches, but we do need to take it on.

“Speaking as both a legislator and as a cancer survivor: Whether it is drug therapies or treatments or devices — and having really heard the angst of constituents so many times who, through a very bureaucratic and years-long process, were still not able to get access to drugs that could potentially have saved their lives or added to their life — a balance needs to be struck.

“You don’t want to put things out into the market that could harm people, but at the same time you don’t want to keep drugs and therapy and devices from people that could help them. It is a legitimate concern that we not want to have a process that is expedited so much that it harms people, and that’s something that we’re going to have to continue to monitor, which is our goal as members of Congress.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

This excerpt was from the December 6 Washington Post Live program Chasing Cancer. Video of the discussions can be see at