, the healthcare news website, has identified three legislative policy issues that are sure to stir the winds of controversy in 2018. Washington Correspondent Erin Mershon has selected likely flash points.
The first is an agreement between the FDA the over-the-counter drugmakers to charge industry higher user fees to pay for speedier and more thorough regulation of their products.
It is anticipated that legislation will be introduced in both houses of Congress will move through House and Senate committees relatively smoothly without many changes.
Perhaps more controversial, is authorizing funding for a comprehensive response to the opiod crises. So far, no cohesive plan has been advanced to address this public health emergency. STAT states, "Democrats, especially in the Senate, have called for including funding in any major government funding package." Senators from hard hit states such as Ohio and West Virginia are calling for more funding as well. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), who co-chairs the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, has presented policy proposals to Republican leadership that include funding provisions.
The re-authorization of public health funds under the 2013 Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparation Resources Act (PAHPRA) is also on board in 2018. When originally passed in 2013, this act was vital in the US response to the Ebola outbreak. Author Erin Mershon writes, "The law and its programs were central to the FDA's emergency approval of a Department of Defense Diagnostic tool that helped detect the disease."
OTC drug fees, the response to the opioid crisis, and re-authorization of PAHPRA are three important health law topics in 2018.