Supporters of the bill
“Maybe out of respect to Sen. Isakson we will finally do it,” said Sen.
Alexander’s committee approved Isakson’s bill and seven other health measures Thursday, including ones that would reauthorize federal nursing workforce programs and address sudden infant deaths.
Isakson in August cited health problems in announcing his resignation plans. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013. He said his illness was progressing and that he also was recovering from a fall and had surgery to remove a growth on one of his kidneys.
The over-the-counter bill aims to modify how nonprescription drugs, everything from Tylenol to sunscreen, are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration, a process created 45 years ago. The measure looks to speed up the process by which FDA reviews these products and creates new user fees to support the changes.
“It is past time to modernize and overhaul our woefully outdated over-the-counter drug approval process,” Isakson in a statement.
Speeding up the regulatory process would allow the FDA to more-easily deal with labeling and safety issues, according to a letter to lawmakers sent by the Pew Charitable Trusts and several other groups in support the legislation in June.
The latest version of the measure, which has been blocked for years over objections from members of Isakson’s own party, hews closely to what passed the House earlier this year (
Supporters say they’re hoping Isakson and other backers of the legislation can work out any sticking points.
Since late 2018, Isakson and Sen.
Isakson earlier this year released his hold on the pandemic bill, which eventually was signed into law (
Burr didn’t object to approving the measure in the HELP Committee or comment on it during the hearing.
The HELP Committee also approved the:
- Ticks: Identify, Control, and Knockout Act (
- Healthy Start Reauthorization Act (
- Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (
- Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (
- Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act (
- Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act (
S. 1608); and
- United States Public Health Service Modernization Act (