Bill giving FDA mandatory recall powers introduced

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food and drug administration

Mandatory recalls of drugs posing an imminent threat to human health could be initiated by the US FDA if a bill introduced last week is passed into law.

The bill​ would give the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) power to order immediate cessation of distribution and a recall when it believes a drug could cause serious harm to humans or animals.

US Representative Edolphus “Ed” Towns introduced the bill. Towns is chairman of the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and in this capacity has criticised Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) handling of quality control concerns at its McNeil Consumer Healthcare division.

On May 27, having overseen the hearing into the J&J recall, Towns said: “One thing we know now is that the FDA needs mandatory recall authority. They shouldn’t have to persuade a company to recall suspect products. I intend to introduce legislation to give FDA that authority​.”

After being introduced last week the bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Towns is the only sponsor of the bill.

J&J hires former Towns’ aide

Documents filed earlier this week​ show J&J has hired lobbyist Alex Beckles to work on “consumer issues / safety / products​” and, more specifically,​“matters related to over-the-counter medications​”.

From 1992 to 2007 Beckles was legislative director / senior policy advisor to Towns. In this capacity Beckles developed and guided legislative priorities, as well as taking leading roles in forwarding the Commerce Committee’s agenda and working with the office of Rep John Dingell.

Beckles also lobbies for Amgen​, on Medicare coverage and reimbursement, and has in the past been hired by AmerisourceBergen​ to lobby on the prompt payment for biopharmaceuticals under Part B of Medicare.

Related topics: QA/QC, Contract Manufacturing & Logistics

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