Bill Would Give FDA Clearer Authority Over Drug Compounders

The bill, introduced in Congress, would also direct the Food and Drug Administration to train state regulators -- who may have contributed to the meningitis outbreak that sickened more than 500 and killed at least 36.

Modern Healthcare: Bill Would Make Drug Compounders Register With FDA
A bill that would require compounding pharmacies to register with the Food and Drug Administration was introduced in the House, according to a news release from the two sponsors of the bill, Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.). The bill, called the Supporting Access to Formulated and Effective Compounded Drugs Act, or SAFE Compounded Drugs Act, would establish an FDA database on the pharmacies for use by the FDA and states in oversight of drug compounders, according to the news release. In addition, it would require the FDA to set minimum production standards and direct the FDA to offer training to state regulators. A compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts is blamed for a meningitis outbreak that sickened more than 500 people and caused at least 36 deaths (Barr, 12/5).

CQ HealthBeat: DeLauro, Lowey Bill Would Give FDA Authority Over Compounding Pharmacies
Two House Democrats introduced a bill to give the Food and Drug Administration clearer authority over compounding pharmacies, although any action on the issue probably will have to wait until the next Congress. The bill, from Democrats Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Nita M. Lowey of New York, would give the FDA more authority and also try to build more collaboration between state and federal regulators (Ethridge, 12/5).

In other Capitol Hill news --

Medscape: Proposal Nixes Medicaid Raise To Fund Doc Fix
Organized medicine is protesting a nascent Congressional proposal to eliminate a Medicaid raise for primary care physicians that would either fund a 1-year postponement of a 26.5 percent Medicare pay cut set for January 1 or reduce the federal deficit in general. The American Medical Association and 260 other national and state medical societies registered their "strong opposition" to the idea in a letter today to Republican and Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate. … In 2013 and 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) raises Medicaid rates to Medicare levels for evaluation and management (E/M) services and vaccine administration. Family physicians, general internists, pediatricians, and subspecialists related to these fields (eg, pediatric cardiologists) are eligible for the increase. Congress wrote the raise into the ACA to entice more physicians to accept Medicaid patients, who will grow dramatically in number as a result of the law (Lowes, 12/5).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Proponents For Abortion Coverage For Military Women Press To End Restrictions
Proponents of ending the ban on women in the military using their health insurance to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest stepped up the political pressure on Wednesday, insisting that this year's defense bill be used to finally lift the prohibition (12/5).

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