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Obama inks US law funding cancer research

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016

US President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation investing billions of dollars in ending cancer, addressing the US epidemic of opioid addiction and tackling other health challenges.

"We are bringing to reality the possibility of new breakthroughs to some of the greatest health challenges of our time," Mr Obama said at a ceremony that drew rare widespread support from both democrats and republicans.

The 21st Century Cures Act devotes $US1.8 million ($A2.4 million) to seek a cure for cancer spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, who lauded the legislation for giving "millions of Americans hope."

Biden was tasked with pushing for the effort in Obama's State of the Union address earlier this year after his son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.

The money is part of $US4.8 billion in research funding that also includes research into brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury, precision medicine and mental health care.

The legislation also provides $US1 billion to increase access for treatment for opioid addiction.

The final version bill passed the upper Senate earlier this month 94-5 after earlier clearing the lower House of Representatives 392-26.

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