KENNEDY ON THE HOUSE PASSAGE OF FDA BILL
Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the passage by the United States House of Representatives of the FDA Reauthorization bill.
"This bill will help every single American every single day as it is about the safety of all of our food and our prescription drugs. Hardly a day goes by without a new report of American families put at risk by unsafe foods, improperly tested imports, or dangerous side effects of powerful prescription drugs. FDA should be the gold standard for assuring the safety of American families, but that standard has become dangerously tarnished. The legislation that the House approves today will help FDA once again do the job that American consumers are counting on it to do to protect their health.
This bill will give FDA urgently needed new resources, strengthen FDA's ability to protect consumers from dangerous drugs, provide important incentives to develop drugs for children, safeguard the food we give our families and feed to our pets, help reduce the cost of medicine by ending abusive practices that deny consumers access to generic drugs, and address many other urgent priorities that face the nation.
This is not a perfect bill, and compromises were made to assure its passage. I am particularly disappointed that the House rejected two important measures in the pediatric program, by failing to make permanent the authority to require clinical studies for pediatric populations, and by not including measures to see that rewards for pharmaceutical companies were proportionate to the expenditures required. But after so many recent instances in which Americans have been harmed by unsafe prescription drugs and contaminated food, America cannot afford inaction on this important measure."