House passes Matheson pharmacy bill

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Washington • The House of Representatives passed a bill Monday meant to add new protections against counterfeit pharmaceuticals, an idea Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, has worked on for years.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, and Matheson, replaces many state laws with new federal rules to track drugs when they move from manufacturers to wholesalers and then to pharmacies.

The goal is to be able to provide a detailed transaction history for every lot of drugs shipped by Jan. 1, 2015.

In past sessions of Congress, Matheson has been the lead sponsor on the bill. This year, Latta has taken the lead on the legislation.

The two have tried to streamline federal reporting guidelines to overcome the opposition of pharmacies wary of increased regulations.

"It's critical that when a person fills a prescription they can trust the medication they receive is real and untainted," Matheson said.

Matt Canham