Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Senator: Drug Shortage Bill Could Be Bundled With Highway Bill

Senator: Drug Shortage Bill Could Be Bundled With Highway Bill

Posted 15 February 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

A bill submitted for Congressional approval last year by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) could see approval after Klobuchar indicated she would seek to attach the provision to an important highway bill.

The bill, Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act (PALM Act), was introduced by Sens. Klobuchar and Bob Casey (D-PA) in February 2011, but the legislation has stalled in Congressional committees in the House and Senate. The legislation has attracted 63 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and 23 cosponsors in the Senate.

Klobuchar's effort to attach the PALM Act to the highway bill is response to the urgency of the problem, she said.

"Families fighting childhood cancer should not have to worry about where they're going to get the next dose of the drug they need to save their child's life," said Klobuchar, referring to Methotrexate. The drug, currently experiencing a shortage, is used to combat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children.

"We acknowledge drug shortages may not have a lot to do with highways," said Klobuchar in remarks to Reuters. "Maybe we have to try every bill, but we can't wait a year to get this done."

The PALM Act would require manufacturers to notify the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a possible impending drug shortage and require the FDA to notify the public of a drug shortage and how it would seek to address the drug shortage.

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