"THE HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)


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Week: 598.1 

Topic: FDA reform in Congress 

Reporter: Aaron Cohen 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: A healthy clearing of red tape...coming up... 

SPOT: 15 years in the prevention of heart disease, stroke and trauma - the National Emergency Medicine Association. Call 800-332- 6362. 

NEMA: The federal agency that approves new drugs and tools of the trade used by doctors....and makes sure food is labeled properly is getting a makeover. Aaron Cohen reports on legislation sailing through Congress which will overhaul the Food and Drug Administration in this Health on the Hill.... 

COHEN: New miracle drugs and medical devices that make patients lives more comfortable may get on the market faster...once the President signs the FDA reform bill. The driving force is the prescription drug industry, which has enthusiastically paid into an expiring government fund to speed approval of new medicines. Industry spokesman Jeff Truitt says drug companies are anxious to keep the program going... 

TRUITT: it's a very, very good investment. it's a win-win situation for everybody involved. it's good for the companies...they get on the market faster. it's good for patients who are getting new medicines faster. it's good for FDA because it's extra money that they desperately needed.  

COHEN: In addition, Congress said doctors would be allowed to prescribe experimental drugs for seriously ill patients, and third parties...like private labs or universities...would be able to test new medical equipment, reducing some of the red tape at the FDA....and getting promising new treatments to doctors and their patients.For Health on the Hill, I'm Aaron Cohen. 

NEMA: And I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.