House passes drug-tracing legislation

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted Monday to pass a bill that would establish national standards for the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The House passed H.R. 1919, the Safeguarding America's Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013, to monitor the movement of drugs through the chain, including manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, creating new regulations for handling of drug products and notification rules concerning drugs potentially unsuitable for distribution. Reps. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, sponsored the legislation.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association, a Washington-based trade group that represents the generic drug industry, heralded the move.

"GPhA strongly supports efforts that help set the stage for adoption of a pragmatic, uniform national standard for electronic prescription medicine tracking," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "In addition, we support enhanced e-labeling that increases patient safety by modernizing the information exchange between pharmacies and manufacturers."