Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, applauded the House's passage of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Reform Act today. This legislation -- which ensures continuation of various FDA programs -- contains her bill, the Keeping America Competitive through Harmonization Act, which would streamline the regulatory process for medical devices,allowing the FDA to enter into agreements with other countries like Australia, Canada, and those in the European Union in order to harmonize inspections and provide for common international labels of medical devices.
"With unemployment in the U.S. still over 8 percent and with many folks giving up on finding jobs, we need to pass legislation that allows for American job creation," said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. "According to job creators like Steve Ferguson of Cook Group, who participated at the Jobs and Innovation Forum on Medical Devices, harmonizing FDA requirements with those of foreign regulators would help improve FDA regulation and thus improve the environment for creating jobs in America."
In the United States, medical technology is directly responsible for employing more than 400,000 people and transporting more than $135 billion in products around the world. In Washington State alone, more than 8,700 jobs have been created by the medical innovation industry with more than $2 billion in sales.
On Sep. 20, 2011, Rep. McMorris Rodgers hosted the first "Jobs and Innovation Forum" on Capitol Hill with a special focus on medical device innovators, how the regulatory process impedes them, and how to improve that process.