House approves bill creating nationwide pharmaceutical traceability

House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said he opposes the bill because it would not require the establishment of an electronic tracing system for drugs by a date certain.

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"By 2027, 14 years from now, FDA will be required to issue proposed regulations for such a system," Waxman said of the bill. "But there's no requirement that these regulations ever be finalized, and if they are ever finalized, they cannot go into effect for at least two more years."

He said a bill proposed in the Senate would require an electronic tracing system after 10 years, and said he hopes the House and Senate can eventually meet to approve a bill that's closer to the Senate version.

Another Democrat, Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine), said he opposes language in the bill because of its language allowing doctors to give patients electronically delivered directions on how to use prescription drugs. Michaud said the language is problematic in part because rural states with intermittent Internet access could have trouble using it.

Despite this opposition, other Democrats said they support it, and the bill was approved in a voice vote — no one demanded a recorded vote. The legislation was called up under a suspension of House rules, which required a two-thirds majority vote.

In other voice votes Monday afternoon, the House approved:

H.R. 126, the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, creating a management program for a population of horses in North Carolina, and

H.R. 885, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Boundary Expansion Act.


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