Bill would exempt FDA user fees from cuts

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"Whether one agrees or disagrees with sequestration, I don’t believe private dollars should be held hostage by the policy," said Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), a lead sponsor of the new bill.

"It discourages investment in medical innovation and denies patients access to timely therapies."

Eshoo, a lead member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the legislation alongside Reps. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

The measure, the FDA Safety over Sequestration (SOS) Act, would allow the FDA to receive its regular stream of user fees despite sequestration.

The monies are paid for specific purposes, such as review and approval of a new medical device, and budget cuts should not be permitted to hamper those projects, lawmakers said.

The FDA SOS Act had four additional co-sponsors as of Thursday and is supported by leading medical device groups, including AdvaMed.