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Labeling Laws For Drugs Are Almost A Reality.

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:53 AM

Information on this may be found on THOMAS, which is the search engine for the Congress of the United States.

Once you are at the THOMAS website, the easiest way to find something is select the name of the sponsoring congressperson or senator, and scroll down until you find the matching bill. (searching by keywords can be done, but this is the easiest way to see if somebody actually introduced a bill, or they are just talking about it. And yes, sometimes they are just gathering lists of names to solicit later, so you need to check. :rolleyes: ( Now that you have the number, you can plug it into THOMAS, but you also need to know what year, because sometimes there are multiples. )

The bill's number is H.R. 4972

The bill's title is Gluten in Medicine Identification Act of 2012 It was introduced 4/27/2012

purpose of bill: to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the label of drugs intended for human use to contain a parenthetical statement identifying the source of any ingredient constituting or derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient

so far, it is sponsored by Rep Tim Ryan, D, (OH-17) and Nita Lowey, D, (NY-18)

The status of the bill is that it has been referred to committee, of the House Committee of Energy and Commerce

Typically, this is where the majority of bills go to die, never to be heard from again. Unless the committee can be persuaded that there is enough public sentiment that getting them OUT of committee and to the House floor for a vote is a good idea.

I noticed that Tim Ryan and Nita Lowey are not even on Energy and Commerce. :huh:

They are also the minority party, fewer of them on the committee than the R's, so the other party ® must have some movement on this bill, or it goes into the circular file. Sometimes they save bill titles and numbers, and then put completely different legislation under them, this is where you need to be hyper vigilant (and have THOMAS bookmarked to keep track)

If you are contacting your congressperson, see if they are already on this committee. THESE are the people that should be contacted ! Here is a list of the membership for May 2012, the 112th Congress
Energy and Commerce House Committee

Henry A. Waxman (CA)
John D. Dingell (MI)
Edward J. Markey (MA)
Edolphus Towns (NY)
Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ)
Bobby L. Rush (IL)
Anna G. Eshoo (CA)
Eliot L. Engel (NY)
Gene Green (TX)
Diana DeGette (CO)
Lois Capps (CA)
Michael F. Doyle (PA)
Jan Schakowsky (IL)
Charles A. Gonzalez (TX)
Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Mike Ross (AR)
Jim Matheson (UT)
G. K. Butterfield (NC)
John Barrow (GA)
Doris O. Matsui (CA)
Donna Christensen (VI)
Kathy Castor (FL)
John Sarbanes (MD)



Fred Upton (MI)
Joe Barton (TX)
Cliff Stearns (FL)
Ed Whitfield (KY)
John Shimkus (IL)
Joseph R. Pitts (PA)
Mary Bono Mack (CA)
Greg Walden (OR)
Lee Terry (NE)
Mike Rogers (MI)
Sue Myrick (NC)
John Sullivan (OK)
Tim Murphy (PA)
Michael Burgess (TX)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Brian P. Bilbray (CA)
Charles F. Bass (NH)
Phil Gingrey (GA)
Steve Scalise (LA)
Bob Latta (OH)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)
Gregg Harper (MS)
Leonard Lance (NJ)
Bill Cassidy (LA)
Brett Guthrie (KY)
Pete Olson (TX)
David McKinley (WV)
Cory Gardner (CO)
Mike Pompeo (KS)
Adam Kinzinger (IL)
Morgan Griffith (VA)




the initial text of this says now: (I omitted the line numbers, that's why there are dashes in odd places

To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the label of drugs intended for human use to contain a parenthetical statement identifying the source of any ingredient constituting or derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Gluten in Medicine Identification Act of 2012’’.

(a) MISBRANDING.—Section 502 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 352) is amend- ed by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(aa) If it is a drug— ‘‘(1) that is intended for human use; ‘‘(2) that contains an ingredient (other than a
polyol) that constitutes or is derived from a grain or starch-containing ingredient; and
‘‘(3) whose label fails to include a parenthetical statement identifying the source of the ingredient so constituted or derived.’’. (B) APPLICABILITY.—Section 502(aa) of the Federal
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as added by subsection (a) of this section, shall apply beginning on the sooner of—
(1) a date to be determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and
(2) the date that is 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act

To contact your congressperson, go to the that congressperson's government webpage, which will have an email contact form and their email address.

When you are contacting a representative about a bill, it helps to use the bill number (HR 4972), title, and know what committee is supposed to be responsible for its progress.

I looked at the sample "editable" text at the American Celiac Disease Alliance, and I don't care for it that much. They seem to have missed the punchline: The problem is that drug manufacturers can currently use unlabeled grain fillers in medications which can provoke an allergy or an auto immune reaction, for people who are already SICK as a result of allergy or auto immune reaction to grains. Unlabeled drugs make people SICK. Example: many thyroid patients are also celiac, yet thyroid meds can contain wheat, which provokes a celiac auto immune response - which can trigger thyroid disease or make it worse.

Analogy: would you expect sugar candy in a diabetes medication ? Ragweed in your antihistamine ? Caffeine in your heart meds ? Salt in your blood pressure pills ? Why is there wheat in thyroid meds ? :ph34r:

Saying it's necessary because of a medically required gluten free diet is true, but it does not emphasize the seriousness of the situation, and it sounds more passive.

3 million celiacs and 7 million more gluten intolerants = 10 million people who could be positively impacted by this bill in the United States. Having people NOT get sick from medication could save money for employers who have healthier workers, and for health plans who don't have to pay for medication which cannot be used.
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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:45 AM

I will remain hopeful for this bill but the odds in favor are minuscule in large part because it was introduced by Democrats, which means most Republicans automatically oppose it no matter what it is. Often goes the other way, as well, but in this case the Rpubs can just outright kill it. And that is almost certainly what will happen.

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:38 PM

Yes, but this really is a bipartisan issue, since Republicans need to eat, also. :lol: And that is why I am working on framing this in terms that could be appealing to their constituents, because if their voters are calling them up and saying, why are you not saving us money on drugs and making them safer from foreign sourced ingredients, (most of your drug manufacturer's medication's filler starches can be imported, because they were processed overseas in Asia, even when U.S. sourced ingredients are used) then we can get more of them on board.

We had such a horrendous example of what could go wrong with the whole pet food using imported human grade gluten scandal a few years back, I am rather puzzled the Public Safety Bureaucracy contingent doesn't grasp this.

And for consumers, this is a win-win, as they just need to be given a choice and knowledge of what to avoid, which is a time, effort, and money saver, making the whole process more efficient.

I do think it's absolutely fantastic that they have a bill # introduced, and text for it. That is a great start.
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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:12 AM

Takal, I guess I've gotten pretty cynical about Congress. There's been a bi-partisan bill out there for more than a year now that both sides agree will help keep cancer medicines for kids in better supply and therefor possibly save lives, and yet they can't get it passed. The Republican House speaker blames the president (which is total BS) and the Democrat Senate majority leader says that's the way the Senate works. What crap. I sent in my letter, though.

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