Engel Authored Bill to Protect Public Health Clears E&C Health Subcommittee

Engel Authored Bill to Protect Public Health Clears E&C Health Subcommittee

Congressman Eliot L. Engel today commended the passage of the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act through the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, which he co-authored with Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY). This legislation would protect Americans from imported counterfeit and unapproved medical devices, including those purporting to be treatments for coronavirus.

“My district encompasses New Rochelle, which is facing an unprecedented coronavirus outbreak,” said Rep. Engel. “I know the people in my district are resilient and want to take proactive measures to protect themselves and their families. While we work to bring additional resources to the district, we must also consider ways to combat unscrupulous actors who are trying to take advantage of a difficult situation. My legislation will empower the FDA to stop the efforts of criminals looking to profit off the fears of New Yorkers looking for treatments for coronavirus.” 

On March 9, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took steps to shut down seven companies alleging to sell treatments for COVID-19. As this outbreaks grows in the US, more firms and unscrupulous actors are likely to enter the market with these dubious products Congressman Engel’s Safeguarding Therapeutics Act would enable the FDA to destroy imported medical devices that the agency believes to be unapproved, adulterated, or misbranded and poses a threat to public health. The legislation passed the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee with bipartisan support and now heads to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.

The bill has been endorsed by the American Pharmacists Association, the Healthcare Supply Chain Association and the Health Industry Distributors Association.

This legislation builds on Congressman Engel’s ongoing work to address the coronavirus outbreak. On March 4, he helped pass a $8.3 billion emergency funding package, which included $3 billion for vaccine development as well as $2.2 billion to support preparedness and response efforts. Congressman Engel also authored the Preventing Drug Shortages Act, bipartisan legislation that mitigates shortages of medicines.