U.S. House passes the Drug Quality and Safety Act - WSMV Channel 4

U.S. House passes the Drug Quality and Safety Act

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WASHINGTON, DC (WSMV) -

More than a year after the fungal meningitis outbreak began, taking the lives of 16 Tennesseans, members of the U.S. House passed the Drug Quality and Safety Act Saturday.

The bill was drafted with the input of Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

The bill clarifies current federal law regarding pharmacy compounding and resolves the patchwork of current federal regulation by applying a uniform standard nationwide.

One year ago, the meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated compounded drugs from the New England Compounding Center alerted the nation that providers and patients need sources of safe compounded drugs.

The outbreak sickened 750 people and 62 people died nationwide.

Following Saturday's vote, Sen. Alexander released a statement saying,"This is a big step toward preventing another nightmare for Tennesseans like last year's tragic meningitis outbreak, which the FDA commissioner tells us will happen again if we don't fix the uncertainty over who's in charge of compounding facilities. The House has passed our agreement to make it clear exactly who is in charge of overseeing each compounding facility, so there will be no questions about who's on the flagpole. I urge the Senate to act swiftly and send this bill to the president to sign."

The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.

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