Senate Proposes Restoring Direct OTC Purchases With Pre-tax Savings In Covid-19 Response Bill
Tax-policy provision in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which the Finance Committee calls Congress’ phase 3 coronavirus response, would change current language in Internal Revenue Service rules for HSAs, FSAs, Archer medical savings accounts and other health reimbursement arrangements to allow directly buying OTC drugs and would extend the categories of covered products to include tampons and other menstrual care products.
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Safeguarding Therapeutics Act, approved by the House in September and by the Senate on 8 December, targets the proliferation of shipments into the US containing fake testing kits, cures and vaccines that claim to address coronavirus, some available OTC.
Benefits of OTC monograph reform legislation passed in March likely will take at least several years, according to GAO report to Congress. It notes the FDA still is analyzing the legislation and it may need two years to add and train staff.
It’s unlikely any industry stakeholder or FDA official expected a bill providing emergency economic relief to consumers, industries and health care services and facilities in response to a pandemic, including extensive support opportunities for small businesses, would be the vehicle that delivers on both of the industry’s congressional wishes. The supplement industry also looks for help in CARES Act.