What We're Reading: Generic Drug Labeling Rule Delayed a Third Time

What we're reading, May 20, 2016: For the third time the FDA delayed a rule about generic drug labeling; 10 years ago a government report warned of a prison health crisis, but was blocked from publication; and Oklahoma lawmakers pass a bill making it a felony to perform an abortion.

For the third time the FDA has delayed a rule about generic drug labeling. The rule was expected to be introduced this spring, but is now being pushed to April 2017, reported STAT. Generic drug makers worry that the rule will invite litigation if they do not move quickly enough to add new information to labels. The labeling rule was first proposed after the Supreme Court ruled generic drug makers should not be held accountable for failing to warn about safety risks since federal law did not permit these companies to independently make changes to product labels.

A decade ago a government report warned of a prison health crisis, but the report was blocked from publication. According to USA Today, the report urged leaders to create a strategy to care for the thousands of inmate suffering from mental illness and substance abuse while they were incarcerated and to assist them after release. To not do so could lead to increased public healthcare burdens, the authors warned at the time. The report also highlighted the prevalence of infectious and chronic diseases that could affect the community when inmates were released.

In Oklahoma, lawmakers have made it a felony for doctors to perform abortions. The bill passed 33-12 even with a handful of Republicans joining Democrats to vote against the bill, according to AP. The governor, an anti-abortion Republican, still has to decide to sign the bill into law or veto it, but she could also do nothing and allow the bill to become law after a 5-day period. In the last 5 years, Oklahoma lawmakers have passed 8 bills imposing new restrictions on abortions that have all been challenges in court as being unconstitutional.