Pitts Bill on Floor Next Week
July 22, 2005
Legislation will help small manufacturers, protect local jobs
Washington-Bipartisan legislation written by Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) that reforms laws governing the export of American-made pharmaceutical products has been slated for House consideration next week. H.R. 184, the Controlled Substances Export Reform Act of 2005, significantly reduces the costs imposed by unnecessary government regulation on small pharmaceutical manufacturers, like Cephalon in Chester County .
"I'm pleased that House leadership has included this legislation as part of its 'Health Week,'" said Congressman Pitts, citing the agenda for next week. "This is really a jobs bill that will benefit small businesses, particularly small pharmaceutical companies employing between 100 and 250 highly paid workers. These companies develop and manufacture important medicines.
"These are the companies that create new jobs, strengthen communities, and drive innovation. The law should help them thrive, not put them at a disadvantage with foreign competitors or large corporations. We need to make sure that we treat them fairly and give them every opportunity to succeed."
Current law allows U.S. companies to export most controlled substances only to the immediate country where the products will be consumed. Shipment to central sites for further distribution across national boundaries is currently prohibited.
H.R. 184 would authorize the Attorney General to permit carefully regulated pharmaceutical exports to international drug convention partner countries. The bill retains full Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authority over all shipments of controlled substances and establishes strict procedures to ensure these products are used solely for legitimate medical purposes.
A review of impacted U.S. exporters indicates that current law jeopardizes between 100-250 new U.S. jobs each time a covered product is introduced in foreign markets.
While larger manufacturers with an established foreign presence may choose to manufacture off-shore using existing facilities, smaller U.S. companies and those requiring specialized manufacturing plants for niche pharmaceuticals are forced to choose between spending millions of dollars on export costs or spending millions of dollars in establishing overseas manufacturing facilities. Often, neither option is feasible for small companies.
"Our laws," said Congressman Pitts, "put U.S. companies, particularly small manufacturers, at a significant disadvantage with their foreign competitors. While foreign firms readily move approved medical products between international drug control treaty countries without limit or restriction, our law ties the hands of American companies.
"Big companies cope with this by building factories overseas. Sometimes they send their jobs over there too. But smaller companies, like Cephalon here in Chester County , just can't do that. And the law shouldn't force any company to do that. Once this bill is enacted it would save these small companies nearly 75 percent on export costs, enable them to compete in the long-term in the global market, and help them keep jobs and capital right here at home," continued Congressman Pitts.
Congressman Pitts, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, introduced the Controlled Substances Export Reform Act of 2005 in January with Reps: Rob Bishop (R, UT-1), Chris Cannon (R, UT-3), Randy (Duke) Cunningham (R, CA-50), and Anna Eshoo (D, CA-14).