• Reaffirming Earlier Ruling, WTO Orders Obama Administration to Drop Flavored Cigarette Ban

    The World Trade Organization, a powerful global body focused on facilitating trade and acting as an intermediary in disputes, ruled the Obama Administration must overturn legislation banning flavored cigarettes. The legislation was originally enacted in 2009 in a bipartisan move aimed at stemming the uptake of cigarette habits amongst children. WTO's 4 April 2012 ruling claims the law is discriminatory as a result of the law specifically exempting menthol cigarettes to ...
  • Report: Clashes Between White House, FDA Frequent

    A report in The New York Times indicates the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Obama Administration are frequently at odds-partially the result of poor communication and partially the result of poor political optics-which has caused significant amounts of tension between the two government bodies. The report notes numerous instances where the Administration and FDA have clashed, including the banning of Primatene asthma inhalers, Health and Human Services S...
  • FDA, Other Agencies Asked to Consider 'Cumulative' Impact of Regulations

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing and approving all regulations in the US, sent notice to all federal agencies this week calling on them to "take account of the cumulative effects of new and existing rules." In a letter dated 20 March, OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein noted the effects of regulations on companies, and asked federal agencies to take steps to "reduce redundant, overlapping, and inconsistent r...
  • GOP Request for White House's Healthcare Reform Negotiating Notes Could Prove Explosive for Industry

    • 26 January 2012
    Republican members of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee-the committee that oversees the US Food and Drug Administration, among other agencies-is requesting that the Obama administration turn over "internal memoranda" related to the administration's negotiations with industry groups during the formulation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010. "The White House has consistently refused our legitimate requests for information regardi...
  • Obama, Largely Silent on Healthcare in State of the Union Speech, Takes Shot at Medical Device Failures

    Last night's State of the Union (SOTU) Speech devoted just 44 words of a 6,957-word speech to healthcare-a striking departure from prior speeches that highlighted the Obama administration's actions on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). However, regulations-including medical device regulation-received some attention in the President's speech. In the middle of his SOTU speech, Obama turned to critics of his administration's regulatory policies, and...
  • Obama to Call for Reorganization, Merger of 6 Federal Agencies

    • 13 January 2012
    US President Barack Obama plans to issue a statement this morning calling for the reorganization of six federal agencies dealing with trade and commerce, reports The Associated Press. The report quotes an unnamed senior administration official who says that the President will call for the Commerce Department, Small Business Administration, Office of the US Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Deve...
  • Obama Sets Precedent on Regulatory Policy

    • 05 January 2012
    In a controversial move, US President Barack Obama yesterday  appointed Richard Cordray as the director of the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While the legality of the move is likely to be subject to intense political, legal-and even constitutional -scrutiny, it has also likely set a regulatory precedent as well, notes Slate columnist Matthew Yglesias . "It's worth noting that the basic GOP method here, if successful, could have wide-rangin...
  • 2011 Drug Shortages Soar to Record Highs

    Last year was a banner year for drug shortages, according to information just released by the University of Utah Drug Information Service . 267 medications experienced shortages during 2011 , topping the previous year's record of 211, and exceeding 2004 levels by 460%. The issue has attracted the attention of both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and President Barack Obama.  The FDA has launched a drug shortages program to work with manufacturers and...