Senate bill to protect user fees from sequestration follows similar bill introduced in the House or Representatives 2 weeks ago.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) has introduced a bi-partisan bill to protect user fees paid by medical device and drug companies to the FDA from federal budget cuts forced by sequestration.
In March, the federal watchdog agency lost $210 million, or about 5.1% of its $4.1 billion 2013 budget, as a result of sequestration, a bargain between the White House and Congress. Included in those cuts were the user fees medical device and pharmaceutical companies pay in order to ensure timely reviews of new devices and drugs.
The bill, titled ” A bill to exempt from sequestration certain fees of the Food and Drug Administration” currently has 4 co-sponsors including Sen’s Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Dan Coats (R-IN), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). The bill has been referred to the Commitee on Budget, however, the Upper Chamber is slated to adjourn for its August recess this week and will not resume work until September.
The Senate move follows a similar bill forwarded in the House of Representatives 2 weeks ago. That bill, dubbed the “FDA Safety over Sequestration (SOS) Act,” was introduced by Reps. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).