WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday passed a major bill affecting the Food and Drug Administration that will increase inspections of drug manufacturing facilities overseas, while funding the reviews of new drugs at home.
Under the bill, approved by majority voice vote Wednesday, the FDA will have more flexibility to inspect sites in China, India, and other countries. The number of US drugs produced overseas has more than doubled over the past decade.
The underlying legislation renews an agreement under which drug companies pay the FDA to review new products. The FDA will collect $6.4 billion in fees from companies over the next five years. For the first time, the agency will collect fees from generic drug makers to speed up approvals of their therapies. The FDA currently has a backlog of roughly 2,700 generic drugs awaiting review.
The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week.