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Congressional committee to discuss tracking pharmaceuticals


WASHINGTON The House Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee will have a hearing this Thursday to discuss a bill titled, “The Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act,” according to published reports.

Each year, the U.S. government finds supplies of counterfeit prescription drugs, but instead of destroying them, the drugs are returned to the counterfeiters. This bill would create government regulations for pharmaceutical companies to record every stage of a pharmaceutical’s shipment and track the drugs from the manufacturer to the doctor’s office or pharmacy.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, a member of the committee said that the issue of counterfeit pills ending up in patients’ hands is a “growing problem” and could get worse without government regulation.

Matheson also said the bill is not specifically saying whether companies should use barcodes or other tracking systems, just that something needs to be used because the rules on tracking drugs have not been updated in 20 years.

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