Committee Removes Provision To Provide DEA Authority
A House-Senate conference committee on Friday removed a provision from the fiscal year 2006 Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies appropriations bill (HR 2862) that would have allowed the Drug Enforcement Administration to determine which new prescription narcotics reach the market, the Washington Post reports (Kaufman, Washington Post, 11/5).
Under the provision, sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), new medications that contain narcotics -- such as morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone -- could not have reached the market unless DEA had reviewed and provided public comments on labels, promotion, risk-management plans and other relevant documents (Kaufman, Washington
Although the provision passed in 2004 "with little notice," many pharmaceutical companies and pain specialists this year raised objections to the renewal of the measure, which they criticized as "an unwarranted intrusion by a law enforcement agency into the FDA's drug-review system," the Post reports.
According to John Scofield, a spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee, conference committee members removed the provision at the request of the Senate.
Dan Scandling, a spokesperson for Wolf, said, "The goal behind it was to prevent another OxyContin," adding, "Now that oversight isn't going to be there" (Washington Post, 11/5).