Health groups press Congress for deadline on long-delayed FDA regulations

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The coalition said Congress should set a firm deadline in the current FDA bill. Both chambers have passed their FDA bills, and lawmakers are hoping to send a finished product to President Obama's desk by July 4.

"We believe a UDI system is essential to help protect the safety of patients, reduce medical errors and strengthen the ability of the FDA and manufacturers to monitor adverse events," the coalition said in a letter to House and Senate lawmakers working on the bill. "Every day that goes by without such electronic identification of medical devices is a threat to patient safety and increases costs in the healthcare system."

The coalition includes AARP, the American Medical Association and the Federation of American Hospitals.