Health Subcommittee Advances Six Bipartisan Bills to Strengthen Public Health

June 20, 2014

UPTON: “This subcommittee, under the leadership of Mr. Pitts, has been a workhorse in public health.”

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), on Thursday evening advanced six bipartisan bills to help improve the public health. The subcommittee approved legislation addressing children’s health, Muscular Dystrophy, Lyme disease, sunscreen, and anabolic steroids.

“This subcommittee, under the leadership of Mr. Pitts, has been a workhorse in public health, with more than a dozen bills already signed into law this Congress,” commented full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “We look to build upon this impressive record of bipartisan success. These are important bills that have a real, profound effect on the lives of Americans across Michigan and the country.”

Among the bills advanced by the subcommittee is H.R. 4771, the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act, introduced by Pitts and Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Pitts said, “Today, online, in gyms, and even in retail stores, consumers are oftentimes unknowingly purchasing products labeled as dietary supplements that are actually designer anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are synthetic forms of testosterone that can be extremely dangerous and are Class III controlled substances on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) schedule. To skirt the law, however, a number of bad actors are altering the chemical structure of such substances and promoting these designer products for their anabolic effects. DEA needs the tools and authority to protect consumers from these dangerous products, keep up with these criminals, and punish them accordingly.”

H.R. 4250, the Sunscreen Innovation Act, was introduced by committee members Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and John Dingell (D-MI). Whitfield commented, “As it has been referenced, FDA has had a very long time to consider various sunscreen applications – one up to ten years – and unfortunately skin cancer is very prevalent in this country and the American public is being denied effective sunscreen products that have been used safely overseas for years.”

H.R. 594, the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments, was introduced by Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY). Burgess said, “This bill makes targeted updates and improvements to legislation first passed by this subcommittee in 2001 and then reauthorized in 2008. These efforts have passed both subcommittee and full committee on voice votes and passed overwhelmingly on the floor under suspension, a trend I hope we can continue. This legislation is supported by the totality of the Muscular Dystrophy community and over 20 organizations.”

The Subcommittee also approved H.R. 4701, the Vector-Borne Disease Research Accountability and Transparency Act, H.R. 669, the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act, and H.R. 4290, the Wakefield Act. Click here to read more.

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