This Week in Washington: President Biden Invokes Defense Production Act to Increase Supply of Infant Formula



House Passes Bill to Help the FDA Address the Infant Formula Shortage

On May 18, the House passed a supplemental appropriations bill that would provide $28 million in emergency funding to help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) address the current infant formula shortage. The funding would help the FDA increase the number of inspection staff and provide additional resources to personnel working on formula issues.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a cost estimate of the bill the same day.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances User Fee Legislation

On May 18, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously to pass the comprehensive user fee legislation. The bill, the Food and Drug Amendments of 2022, now goes to the House floor. If approved, the bill would allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect funds from industry, which could be used to hire new reviewers.

On May 17, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released a bipartisan draft bill to reauthorize the FDA’s user fee programs. The Senate discussion draft has a further reach than the House legislation.

Rep. Robin Kelly Introduces Bill to Increase Diversity of NIH-Funded Clinical Trials

On May 19, Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) introduced the NIH Clinical Trial Diversity Act, which would increase the diversity of National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded trial participants. The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).

Rep. Schakowsky Introduces Bill to Reduce Exclusivity Period for Brand-Name Biologics to 5 Years

On May 18, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced a bill that would amend the Public Health Service Act to shorten the exclusivity period for brand-name biological products from 12 years to 5 years. The bill has seven Democratic cosponsors.


Sens. Baldwin and Capito Introduce Bill to Improve the Palliative and Hospice Care Workforce

On May 19, Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reintroduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. The bill aims to improve the palliative and hospice care workforce.

Sen. Bennet Introduces Bill to Reduce Healthcare Costs for Retired Public Safety Officers

On May 19, Sen. Michael Bennet introduced the Public Safety Officer Health Improvement Act. The bill would reduce the healthcare costs for retired public safety officers who are not yet eligible for Medicare by creating a tax credit of up to $4,800.

30 Democratic Senators Call on President Biden to Assign a White House Infant Formula Coordinator

On May 18, Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) led 30 Democratic senators in a letter calling on President Biden to assign a White House coordinator on infant formula to address the current shortage. In addition, the senators call for a national strategy to increase the infant formula supply chain resiliency.

Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.