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Legislation inspired by fungal meningitis outbreak is one healthcare reform with bi-partisan backing


WASHINGTON D.C. (WKZO) -- The U.S. House wasn’t entirely focused on the budget and the Government shutdown. They also found time Saturday to approve legislation sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton that would tighten regulations on compounding pharmacies like the one that triggered that outbreak of fungal meningitis last year.

The infection killed 64, and has left hundreds with ongoing health problems.

Upton took to the floor of the House to present the bill.

“To all the families who have lost loved ones and to those who are still suffering today, with this bill we say ‘never again,’” said Upton. “By all accounts, Michigan has been the hardest hit by the outbreak – with 19 lives needlessly lost including three in my district - and the sad truth is, it could have been prevented. This legislation is an important step in helping prevent any such tragedy from occurring again.”

“H.R. 3204 also strengthens the prescription drug supply chain in order to protect American families against counterfeit drugs while eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars of duplicative government red tape that is harming Michigan businesses like Perrigo and Pfizer.”

“I am proud to say that this piece of legislation is a product of true bipartisan and bicameral work. The Senate and the House, Republicans and Democrats came together to produce a bill that will protect American patients by ensuring they receive safe drugs.”

H.R. 3204 will protect traditional pharmacies and clarify laws related to human drug compounding in response to the nationwide meningitis outbreak and will strengthen the prescription drug supply chain in order to protect American families against counterfeit drugs.”The legislation will also create a uniform national standard for drug supply chain security to protect Americans against counterfeit drugs while eliminating needless government red tape. It will help prevent increases in drug prices, avoid additional drug shortages and eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of duplicative government regulations that impact Michigan employers like Perrigo and Pfizer”.

It passed on a voice vote in the House. 

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate where key bi-partisan leadership has already expressed support and passage could come within days or weeks.