US House sends drug bill to Senate for final vote

(AP) — The House on Wednesday passed a major bill affecting the Food and Drug Administration that will increase inspections of drug manufacturing facilities overseas, while also funding review of new drugs at home.

Under the , approved by majority voice vote Wednesday, the FDA will have more flexibility to inspect sites in China, India and other countries. The number of U.S. drugs produced overseas has more than doubled over the last decade.

The underlying legislation renews an agreement under which companies pay the FDA to review new products. The FDA will collect $6.4 billion in fees from companies over the next five years. For the first time, the agency will collect fees from generic drugmakers to speed up approvals of their therapies. The FDA currently has a backlog of roughly 2,700 generic drugs awaiting review.

Other sections of the bill increase fines for drug counterfeiting and require drugmakers to notify the government earlier of potential drug shortages. More than 280 drugs are currently in short supply in the U.S., due in part to drug industry consolidation.

The bill sorts out differences in prior legislation passed by the House and Senate. House lawmakers approved their initial version of the sweeping legislation last month in a 387-5 vote.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week, after which it will go to White House to be signed into law.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Senate passes bill to boost food safety

Nov 30, 2010

(AP) -- The Senate passed legislation Tuesday to make food safer in the wake of deadly E. coli and salmonella outbreaks, potentially giving the government broad new powers to increase inspections of food ...

US lawmakers reject Canada drug purchases

Oct 20, 2011

The US Senate Thursday rejected a measure that would have enabled Americans to buy prescription drugs in Canada in a bid to reduce the costs of their health care.

Recommended for you

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

23 hours ago

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

Health care M&A leads global deal surge

Nov 23, 2014

In a big year for deal making, the health care industry is a standout. Large drugmakers are buying and selling businesses to control costs and deploy surplus cash. A rising stock market, tax strategies and ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.