Washington, DC – We have seen more than ever the importance of over-the-counter (OTC) products. From hand sanitizer to disinfectant wipes, OTC supplies have helped Americans keep themselves healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, these products have been flying off the shelves in stores across the nation.
In the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was a bipartisan bill by Communications and Technology Subcommittee GOP Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) to update the approval process for approving OTC products. This will help new, safe products to be approved and enter the market more quickly, allowing for more innovation, consumer choice, and product transparency.
Learn more about this bill in Rep. Latta’s recent op-ed in the American Healthcare Journal.
American Healthcare Journal
By Rep. Bob Latta
April 22, 2020
How do we better address public health issues, provide economic relief or supplement the heroic efforts of our private sector to combat a crisis like the one we are facing now with the coronavirus pandemic?
Congress is addressing these obstacles through legislation.
Recently, Congress passed the CARES Act, legislation to help those affected by this crisis through direct payments, small business loans and grants, and support for our nation’s healthcare providers. The CARES Act also includes a bill that I’ve long championed that will make it easier for Americans to protect themselves against COVID-19 by reforming and modernizing the way over-the-counter (OTC) products are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Reforming the OTC monograph system has been a long time coming and has seen Republicans working hand in hand with Democrats to address the problem. After countless bipartisan discussions, I introduced the Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation and Reform Act and garnered the backing of manufacturers of OTC products, consumer groups and officials at the FDA.
Despite receiving widespread support in Congress, the legislation did not become law right away. In fact, it needed to pass the House four times before it became law as part of the CARES Act. Getting this bill across the finish line took longer than anticipated, but its passage was a real turning point. This tool will now help the FDA streamline the approval of new OTC medicine and products that Americans desperately want and need.
Read the full op-ed here.