Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) released the following joint statement after the House of Representatives passed eight health care bills this week:
“At a time when public health is more important than ever, today the House passed a wide range of bipartisan legislation to improve the health and well-being of the American people. The bills update product labels to warn and protect consumers who suffer common food allergies, fund research into health disparities, and reauthorize life-saving transplant programs. The House overwhelmingly voted to help patients access affordable medications, prevent misconduct and diversion of controlled substances, including opioids, and encourage drug-free competition in sports. We’re proud of the bipartisan work to pass these life-saving bills and we look forward to getting them all signed into law.”
The House of Representatives passed the following eight bills:
H.R. 172, the “United States Anti-Doping Agency Reauthorization Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Diana DeGette (D-CO). The bill would extend and increase the authorization level for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) through fiscal year 2030, empower the agency to encourage a positive sporting environment for young athletes by providing educational materials on sportsmanship, character building, and healthy performance, and would improve anti-doping efforts in the United States by encouraging Federal agencies to coordinate and share information with USADA to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs and methods. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 381-37.
S. 578, the “Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2021” or the “FASTER Act of 2021,” was introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). The bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to include sesame as a major allergen. The bill would also require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to report specific recommendations and strategies to reduce risks related to food allergies, including recommendations for the development of a regulatory process to add additional foods or ingredients to the list of major food allergens. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 415-11.
H.R. 189, the “John Lewis NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act,” was introduced by Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), and Van Taylor (R-TX). The bill authorizes the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to facilitate research on minority health disparities through research endowments at current or former centers of excellence. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.
H.R. 941, the “Timely ReAuthorization of Necessary Stem-cell Programs Lends Access to Needed Therapies Act of 2021” or the “TRANSPLANT Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Chellie Pingree (D-ME). The bill would reauthorize the C.W. Bill Young Transplant Program and the National Cord Blood Inventory to facilitate life-saving bone marrow and umbilical cord blood donations to help patients suffering from blood cancers, disorders, and diseases. The bill would also require HHS to review the state of science related to adult stem cells and birthing tissues for the purpose of potentially including in the program, and would require the National Institutes of Health, in consultation with other agencies, to further the field of regenerative medicine and commissions a report by the Comptroller General on the state of regenerative medicine workforce. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 415-2.
S. 164, the “Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act of 2021,” was introduced by Sens. Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). The legislation would help provide patients and health care providers with greater information about biologics and biosimilars by requiring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a public website with educational materials, including what products are interchangeable, as well as how to report any adverse events. The bill would also support the development of continuing education programs for health care providers about biologics. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 412-8.
S. 415, the “Ensuring Innovation Act,” was introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Roger Marshall (R-KS). The legislation clarifies that five-year new chemical entity eligibility is only available for drugs containing no active component that has previously been approved in the United States. This would help reduce drug costs and improve access to more affordable generic drugs by ensuring that market exclusivity, which can delay generic drugs from entering the market, is only made available to truly innovative products. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.
H.R. 1002, the “Debarment Enforcement of Bad Actor Registrants Act of 2021” or the “DEBAR Act of 2021,” was introduced by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH). The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow the Attorney General to prohibit any registrant from manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance or a List I chemical if that registrant meets or has met any of the conditions for suspension or revocation of registration, or has a history of prior suspension or revocations. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 411-5.
H.R. 1899, the “Ensuring Compliance Against Drug Diversion Act,” was introduced by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA). The bill terminates the controlled substance registration of any registrant if the registrant dies, ceases legal existence, discontinues business or professional practice, or surrenders registration. A registrant who ceases legal existence or discontinues business is required to notify the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Registrants must receive written consent from DEA in order to assign or transfer a registration, and they are also required to return certain documentation if a registrant’s work is discontinued. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 412-5.
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