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House committee approves FDA bill, puts off drug price debate

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved its bill to reauthorize the Food and Drug Administration's user fees this afternoon, but a broader drug price debate will have to wait. A handful of Democrats and Republicans tried to add amendments to address rising drug prices, but committee Chairman Greg Walden said the legislation already takes steps to address that issue by cutting the backlog of unapproved generic drug applications at the FDA.

Key quote: "When are we going to do this? When are we going to say to the pharmaceuticals, You have to stop?" — Republican Rep. David McKinley, after offering and withdrawing an amendment to make drug companies provide samples to generic manufacturers.

Walden's pledge: He agreed to explore the causes of rising drug prices at a later date. "We're going to look at every piece of this and try to get to the answer, regardless of who's involved."

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