Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today announced he will vote in favor of the "Food and Drug Administration Reform Act" (H.R. 5651), a bill to reauthorize Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fee programs and encourage the approval of life-saving drugs and medical devices.
"I have spent my career treating patients so I know the important need for innovation in drugs and medical devices. I believe doctors and patients in Northern Michigan want this country to remain on the cutting edge of medical innovation. For years, America has been the medical innovation capital of the world, and this bill allows us to continue to lead," said Dr. Benishek, a doctor from Iron River.
The FDA Reform Act will reauthorize FDA user fee programs for drug companies, while implementing new user fee programs for generic drugs. The goal of these reauthorizations is to ensure the timely review and approval of life-saving and live-improving drugs and medical devices. This will work to prevent more of the American drug and device industry from moving overseas.
This legislation also contains a provision to assist hospitals, doctors, and nurses with dangerous drug shortages. The bill contains language that would require the FDA to inform the American public through a drug shortages list and expedite the approval of important drugs in need.
"I am pleased this legislation will alleviate critical drug shortages. I have treated patients for my entire adult life, so I understand how important it is for patients to have access to the medicines they need," added Dr. Benishek.
The "FDA Reform Act" is important to the American economy. According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, 2 million jobs are supported by the U.S. medical device industry. The average worker who works in the device industry earns an average of $60,000 per year.
"With unemployment in Northern Michigan higher than the national average of 8 percent and the health care industry playing such an important role in our economy, it is vital that we keep these jobs in areas like Northern Michigan and not let them move overseas," observed Dr. Benishek.