More FDA Funding In House Coronavirus Stimulus Bill, But No OTC Purchases With Pre-tax Savings
An additional $160m is allocated to FDA in House coronavirus-related stimulus bill aimed at fighting the pandemic and helping the wobbling economy. It would not, as a similar Senate bill proposes, once again allow using pre-tax savings accounts to buy OTC drugs.
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Senate pandemic economic relief legislation legislation would reform monograph drug program and allow purchases of OTC drugs with pre-tax health savings accounts. But lingering disagreements between Democrats and Republicans blocked the Senate's passage of the bill on 25 March.
Unlike diagnostics, EUAs for drugs are rare and the fact that there already are FDA-approved competitors for Bayer’s chloroquine phosphate product may make the decision more complicated.
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.