GOP lawmaker introduces bill to eliminate federal prescribing requirements

GOP lawmaker introduces bill to eliminate federal prescribing requirements
© Greg Nash

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation on Tuesday aimed at eliminating federal prescribing requirements. 

Biggs said that the health care industry has been “operating under the nanny-state,” citing the coronavirus pandemic as an area where he feels patients should have more control over their drug choices. 

“For over eighty years, we have been operating under the nanny-state mentality that Washington bureaucrats know what drug choices are best for patients.  But as the coronavirus pandemic has shown, that clearly isn’t the case. Even if we think beyond the coronavirus, there is no reason to believe that federal prescribing requirements are inherently beneficial to patients,” he said in a statement. 

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The Biggs bill would repeal language requiring that "practitioners licensed by law" administer certain drugs. His bill would notably exempt abortion-related drugs from the change.

The bill is likely to go nowhere in the current Congress, which ends in a matter of weeks, and is unlikely to move forward in a new Congress that will still be controlled by Democrats.

The Arizona Republican said he feels regulations should be left up to the states and doesn’t believe the measure would present additional risk. 

“If federal prescribing requirements are eliminated, patients will almost certainly continue to consult with doctors before taking any potentially risky medications; for their part, the pharmaceutical companies will continue to be incentivized to produce the best possible and most transparent warning labels to protect their reputations and limit any potential liability," he said.