The House of Representatives this week overwhelmingly approved the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act, which included important new provisions to improve the safety of our drug supply, reduce drug shortages and crack down on the manufacturing of certain synthetic drugs. The vote was 387-5. The compromise bill will now be taken up by the Senate in time for the President to sign in July.
"This bill bans K2, Spice and other synthetic drugs that increasingly threaten the public health and safety of our communities," said U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI). "After this action, federal criminal penalties will apply to the manufacture, sale, possession and use of these dangerous drugs."
The bill includes a provision adding certain synthetic drugs -- like K2, Spice and bath salts -- to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
For many years, the FDA -- charged with protecting the safety of pharmaceuticals -- has focused its inspections on U.S. drug manufacturing facilities, but in recent years more and more drugs sold in the U.S. have been made abroad. The bill also will allow the FDA to monitor the activity at international manufacturing facilities more effectively and it increases the penalties to anyone who creates counterfeit drugs. As the pharmaceutical market becomes increasingly globalized, these provisions will help ensure that the U.S. supply chain remains safe.