Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Senate Passage of the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act
"The Senate today has made concrete steps to improve drug safety, protect children's health, ensure the safety of our food supply and restore public confidence in the Food and Drug Administration.
I am proud that the Senate as part of this bill has reauthorized the pediatric rule. This will allow the FDA to continue requiring drug companies to prove that medications marketed for kids are safe and effective for children. Today the Senate has extended this authority for five years and I will continue to work to make the pediatric rule permanent.
This legislation also begins to address many of the agency's problems with food safety. I have long been concerned about the lack of coordination between the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and I filed an amendment to this bill which would establish a joint task force between these two agencies to improve our response to food borne illnesses. I will continue to press for action to address shortcomings in our food safety system to prevent future outbreaks of food borne illness, and restore our nation's confidence in the ability of both the FDA and the USDA to protect American consumers. The fragmentation of our food safety system must be addressed in order to protect consumers.
This bill is an important step forward. However, this is only a first step and more needs to be done. I am disappointed that this bill does not allow for safe reimportation of prescription drugs, a long overdue step toward providing our seniors with relief from skyrocketing drug prices. I will continue to press for a workable solution. We must also create a pathway for approval of generic versions of biologic medications and I am working closely with Senators Kennedy, Enzi, Schumer and Hatch to achieve this goal.
I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we can continue to strengthen the FDA, lower prescription drug costs, and maintain a strong commitment to consumer protection and scientific innovation."