Congress Poised to Pass Safety-Focused FDA Bill

June 21, 2012

A bill designed to beef up the safety of U.S. prescription drugs is poised to pass Congress, but without a tracking system that public health advocates say is critical to weeding out counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

House and Senate lawmakers agreed late Monday on legislation that helps supplement the Food and Drug Administration’s budget. The two chambers previously passed separate versions of the bill, which also increases safety inspections and penalties for drug counterfeiting.

Lawmakers dropped a provision which would have created a national network for tracking drug shipments and preventing counterfeit and stolen drugs from entering the U.S. supply chain. Pharmaceutical companies and regulators have argued over the cost and scope of the network for over a decade. Lawmakers were unable to bridge disagreements between the two groups.

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