The Senate passed the massive bipartisan Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act Thursday at a speedy rate with little bickering.
The $6.4 billion legislation, designed to prevent drug shortages and speed federal approval of lifesaving medicines, passed by a vote of 96 to 1. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was the only no vote.
"I voted against this bill because it does far too little to address this crisis while it perpetuates a prescription drug system that continues to fail the American people," Sanders said in a statement.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is strongly supported by the Obama administration, consumer groups and the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
The legislation aims to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to revise and extend the user-fee programs for prescription drugs and medical devices. It also establishes user-fee programs for generic drugs and biotechnology products known as biosimilars.
House and Senate leaders have said their goal is to have the legislation sent to President Barack Obama by July.
by RTT Staff Writer
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