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Pharmaceuticals / Postmarket Safety / Commercial Operations

GOP Lawmakers Float Prescription Drug Abuse Bill

Feb. 25, 2014

New GOP-proposed legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse would require certain drugmakers to conduct background checks and perform drug testing for employees with access to controlled substances.

The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (H.R. 4069), sponsored by Reps. Martha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tom Marino (R-Pa.), would also establish a working group of manufacturers, regulators and other stakeholders to explore solutions.

The background check and drug testing provisions only apply to drugmakers registered under the Controlled Substances Act. The background checks must occur when a new employee is hired, and for every employee at least every two years, the bill states.

If a drugmaker does not comply with the proposed requirements, they could be fined up to $10,000, the bill also states.

The proposal now goes before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, where Blackburn serves as vice chair.

To read the bill, visit www.fdanews.com/ext/resources/files/02/02-24-14-DrugAbuseBill.pdf. — Robert King

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