House Passes Pitts Measure to Help Small Manufacturers, Protect Jobs
July 27, 2005
Legislation lowers barrier to exporting American products, helps small pharmaceutical makers like Chester County-based Cephalon
Washington -Today, the House of Representatives approved, by voice vote, the Controlled Substances Export Reform Act of 2005. This legislation, originally introduced by Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16), reduces the costs imposed by unnecessary government regulation on small pharmaceutical manufacturers, such as Cephalon in Chester County and 260 others like it across the country.
"I'm pleased that an overwhelming majority of my colleagues supported this bill that helps American companies compete overseas," said Congressman Pitts. "This is a jobs bill that benefits small businesses, particularly small pharmaceutical companies employing between 100 and 250 highly paid workers.
"These companies develop and manufacture important medicines. They create new jobs, strengthen communities, and drive innovation. The law should help them thrive, not put them at a disadvantage with foreign competitors or large corporations. We need to make sure that we treat them fairly and give them every opportunity to succeed," said Congressman Pitts.
"But our laws put U.S. companies, particularly small manufacturers, at a significant disadvantage with their foreign competitors. While foreign firms move approved medical products between international drug control treaty countries at will, our law ties the hands of American companies.
"Big companies cope with this by building factories overseas. Sometimes they send their jobs over there too. But smaller companies, like Cephalon here in Chester County , just can't do that. And the law shouldn't force any company to do so. Once this bill is enacted it would save these small companies nearly 75 percent on export costs, enable them to compete in the long-term in the global market, and help them keep jobs and capital right here at home," continued Congressman Pitts.
Current law allows U.S. companies to export most controlled substances only to the immediate country where the products will be consumed. Shipment to central sites for further distribution across national boundaries is currently prohibited.
H.R. 184 would authorize the Attorney General to permit carefully regulated pharmaceutical exports to international drug convention partner countries. The bill retains full Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authority over all shipments of controlled substances and establishes strict procedures to ensure these products are used solely for legitimate medical purposes.
A review of impacted U.S. exporters indicates that current law jeopardizes between 100-250 new U.S. jobs each time a covered product is introduced in foreign markets.
The legislation passed today was the Senate version, S. 1395, of legislation written by Congressman Pitts, H.R. 184. S. 1395, introduced in the Senate by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), was passed on July 13, 2005. Senate passage enabled the House to simply take up the Senate bill in order to speed the measure to the President's desk and avoid a conference committee.