Sen. Brown's drug shortages bill moves forward

The legislation, which allows hospitals to repackage medications, awaits action in the House

The Senate has approved a bill that allows hospitals to combat drug shortages by repackaging unused medications. Senator Sherrod Brown is sponsoring the bill, which was put together at a round-table discussion with pharmacists in January.

The legislation allows repackaging of drugs into smaller doses, which the FDA does not currently permit. The law would also require drug companies to alert the FDA of impending drug shortages, so hospitals could prepare.

Brown says restrictions on repackaging were due to fear of contamination, but the bill would require safe handling.

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