MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force
Cancer is a leading cause of death, and cancer incidence is expected to increase worldwide in the coming decades. But today, cancer research is on the cusp of major breakthroughs. It is of critical national importance that we accelerate progress towards prevention, treatment, and a cure — to double the rate of progress in the fight against cancer — and put ourselves on a path to achieve in just 5 years research and treatment gains that otherwise might take a decade or more. To that end, I hereby direct the following:
Section 1. White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force. There is established, within the Office of the Vice President, a White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force (Task Force), which will focus on making the most of Federal investments, targeted incentives, private sector efforts from industry and philanthropy, patient engagement initiatives, and other mechanisms to support cancer research and enable progress in treatment and care. The Vice President shall serve as Chair of the Task Force.
(a) Membership of the Task Force. In addition to the Vice President, the Task Force shall consist of the heads of the executive branch departments, agencies, and offices listed below:
(i) the Department of Defense;
(ii) the Department of Commerce;
(iii) the Department of Health and Human Services;
(iv) the Department of Energy;
(v) the Department of Veterans Affairs;
(vi) the Office of Management and Budget;
(vii) the National Economic Council;
(viii) the Domestic Policy Council;
(ix) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
(x) the Food and Drug Administration;
(xi) the National Cancer Institute (NCI);
(xii) the National Institutes of Health (NIH);
(xiii) the National Science Foundation; and
(xiv) such other executive branch departments, agencies, or offices as the President may designate.
A member of the Task Force may designate, to perform the Task Force functions of the member, any person who is a part of the member’s department, agency, or office, and who is a full time officer or employee of the Federal Government. At the direction of the Chair, the Task Force may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Task Force members or their designees under this section, as appropriate.
(b) Administration of the Task Force. The NIH shall provide funding and administrative support for the Task Force to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. The Vice President shall designate an officer or employee of the executive branch as the Executive Director of the Task Force, who shall coordinate the work of the Task Force.
Sec. 2. Mission and Functions of the Task Force. The Task Force shall work with a wide array of executive departments and agencies that have responsibility for key issues related to basic, translational, and clinical research, therapy development, regulation of medical products, and medical care related to cancer. Consistent with applicable law, the Task Force also will consult with external experts from relevant scientific sectors, including the Presidentially appointed National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB). The NCAB shall advise the Director of NCI on its recommendations respecting the future direction and program and policy emphasis of NCI as it relates to the work of the Task Force. To assist the NCAB in providing this advice, the NCAB is strongly encouraged to establish a working group consisting of a Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts. The Director shall relay the advice of the NCAB to the Task Force, as appropriate. The functions of the Task Force are advisory only and shall include, but shall not be limited to, producing a detailed set of findings and recommendations to:
(a) accelerate our understanding of cancer, and its prevention, early detection, treatment, and cure;
(b) improve patient access and care;
(c) support greater access to new research, data, and computational capabilities;
(d) encourage development of cancer treatments;
(e) identify and address any unnecessary regulatory barriers and consider ways to expedite administrative reforms;
(f) ensure optimal investment of Federal resources; and
(g) identify opportunities to develop public-private partnerships and increase coordination of the Federal Government’s efforts with the private sector, as appropriate.
Sec. 3. Outreach. Consistent with the objectives set out in section 2 of this memorandum, the Task Force, in accordance with applicable law, in addition to regular meetings, shall conduct outreach with representatives of the cancer patient community, academia, business, nonprofit organizations, State and local government agencies, the research community, and other interested persons that will assist with the Task Force’s development of a detailed set of recommendations.
Sec. 4. Transparency and Reports. The Task Force shall facilitate the posting on the Internet of reports and engage in an open, reciprocal dialogue with the American people. The Task Force shall present to the President a report before December 31, 2016, on its findings and recommendations, which shall be made available to the public and posted on the Internet.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) The heads of executive departments and agencies shall assist and provide information to the Task Force, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Task Force. Each executive department and agency shall bear its own expense for participating in the Task Force.
(b) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(d) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 6. Publication. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
January 28, 2016