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Health News Florida

Alzheimer's, Cancer Bills Signed

Gov. Rick Scott signed health care-related bills Wednesday that affect research on Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

One (combined HB 711 and 709) creates the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program within the Department of Health to decide on grants aimed toward prevention of, or a cure for, Alzheimer’s disease. The Moores were the grandparents of Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, chair of the subcommittee on health care appropriations. The state's $77 billion budget includes $3 million for the Ed and Ethel Moore program.

Another bill (HB 5203) sets up a program at the Department of Health to help the University of Florida and University of Miami win designation as National Cancer Institute centers. Currently the state has only one -- H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa -- yet the population is large enough to warrant three. And given the demographics of Florida, with its large retiree population, cancer has a larger-than-usual footprint.

Both bills go into effect July 1.

The DOH program will be called the Florida Consortium of National Cancer Institute Centers Program. It will be charged with allocating funds of about $60 million a year, according to the governor's office.