WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) allowing the use of freeze-dried plasma.
The move follows efforts spearheaded by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and the Senate Select Intelligence Committee last year.
At the time the House was preparing to consider the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), there was a provision that the committees were concerned would endanger U.S. military personnel by exposing them to treatments without the critical oversight of the FDA.
In November 2017, Chairmen Walden, Alexander, and Burr stated, “However, a new provision in the NDAA, though well-intentioned, could jeopardize the FDA’s rigorous and science-based process to ensure the availability of safe treatments and therapies, which may ultimately create more harm than good for those who have risked their lives to defend our nation.”
In working with the Trump Administration and Congressional committees drafting the NDAA, Chairman Walden introduced H.R. 4374, legislation that would address this language in the NDAA. The House passed this critical measure shortly after raising the issue, by a sweeping vote of 356-70. The bill was signed into law, along with the NDAA Conference Report, in December 2017.
At the time, Chairman Walden and #SubHealth Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) stated, “Today we are well on our way to delivering the newest treatments and devices to our war fighters without forgoing important safety mechanisms.”
Those words are even more accurate with FDA’s action today, delivering a victory for medicine on the battlefield.