Panel Approves Health Care Bills, including FDA Drug/Device Requirements, Internet Pharmacy Rules

On September 17, 2008, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved more than 7 health policy bills addressing such issues as FDA drug and device approvals, internet pharmacy regulation, health care workforce issues, insurance coverage, and medical treatment, including:

  • H.R. 1014, the "Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act"; would require new drug, biologics, and device applications submitted to FDA to include specific data on the drug's safety and effectiveness by gender, age and race. This information would be posted on the internet. The bill as amended also would authorize research and public health activities to reduce cardiovascular disease in women.
  • H.R. 6353, the “Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008,” would prohibit the sale of controlled substances over the Internet without a valid prescription and subject on-line pharmacies to a series of new restrictions.
  • H.R. 758, the “Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act,” would require health insurers to cover minimum lengths of stay and secondary consultations for patients undergoing procedures to treat and diagnose breast cancer.
  • H.R. 2994, the “National Pain Care Policy Act of 2007,” would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a national pain care education outreach and awareness campaign.
  • H.R. 5265 the “Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2008,” would promote research into the causes and treatments of various forms of Muscular Dystrophy.
  • H.R. 2583, the “Physician Workforce and Graduate Medical Education Enhancement Act of 2007,” would authorize a loan repayment program for hospitals to start a residency training program.
  • H.R. 6908, the “HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act,” would require timely disclosure of limitations and restrictions on coverage under group health plans.

The legislation now moves to the full House for further consideration.

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