OTC Monograph Reform Emerges In Senate Proposal For Covid-19 Economic Relief
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.
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NPA asks Congress to include supplements in legislation defining "medical expenses” covered by pre-tax health savings accounts. The trade group says industry would prefer supplements were included with OTC drugs in provision in recently passed COVID-19 relief legislation that changed pre-tax account rules.
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.
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.