Lawmakers Weigh Deal Giving FDA Greater Clout After Meningitis Outbreak

House and Senate negotiators appear to be making progress towards stiffer regulations over the type of drugs that caused last year's outbreak. In other Capitol Hill news, the GOP pushes to repeal a tax on medical devices, and rural health care providers ask for more time to meet electronic health record deadlines.

The Baltimore Sun: Lawmakers Seek Deal On Drug-Mixing A Year After Outbreak
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are closing in on a deal to grant the Food and Drug Administration more authority over the type of drugs that caused a deadly outbreak of meningitis last year, advocates close to the issue said Tuesday. Though details of the proposal remain fluid, House and Senate negotiators have been talking for weeks and appear to be making progress toward stiffer regulations (Fritze, 9/25).

The Hill: GOP Senators Push For Medical Device Tax Repeal Vote
GOP senators said Tuesday that they would try to attach a repeal of a medical device tax to a government spending measure, as they prepare for Democrats to strip language defunding the president's health care law. Republicans on both sides of the Capitol despise the medical device tax, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) calling it a "stupid dumb-ass thing" on Tuesday (Becker, 9/24).

CQ HealthBeat: Senators Ask HHS For Delay In Electronic Records Program
Health care providers, particularly those in rural areas, need more time to meet an Obama administration deadline for the second stage of a health information technology program that is designed to foster electronic record-keeping, two Republican senators said Tuesday in a letter to agency Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Bunis, 9/24).

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