What We're Reading: Drug Imports, PhRMA Campaign, CDC Climate Change Summit

What we're reading, January 24, 2017: senators introduce a bill to temporarily allow drug imports; PhRMA launches campaign to combat criticism of pharmaceutical industry; and the CDC canceled summit on climate change and health.

A new bill would permit drug imports to address shortages. According to STAT, 2 US senators introduced a bill that would temporarily allow prescription drugs to be imported into the United States when HHS decides there is a drug shortage. Only drugs from countries with the same safety and effectiveness standards as the United States would be eligible. The bipartisan legislation also seeks to speed approvals for treatments that have little competition through faster reviews and inspections. The FDA already has plans to speed up reviews for generic drugs in situations where only 1 treatment is current sold.

Drug lobby combats criticism with new campaign. President Donald J. Trump has strongly criticized the pharmaceutical industry—he said they are “getting away with murder”—and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of American (PhRMA) has launched a new campaign to counter the negative image, reported The Hill. The campaign, called “Go Boldly,” highlights scientific advances made by pharmaceutical companies. PhRMA’s campaign will include TV, print, digital, and radio advertising.

CDC cancels summit on how climate change impacts health. Shortly before Trump’s inauguration, the CDC canceled the Climate and Health Summit with little fanfare. The Washington Post reported that speakers had been informed the February summit would not be held, but did not give any reason why. The agency is apparently considering rescheduling the event. The summit had been intended to discuss the evidence of risks to human health as a result of changing climate.