Reps. Kinzinger, Sherill Lead Bipartisan Letter in Support of E-Labeling Prescription Drugs
Last week, Representatives Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) sent a bipartisan letter urging the House Appropriations Committee not include any language in the FY2022 appropriations bill that would prohibit the FDA from allowing pharmaceutical prescribing information (PI) to be delivered in digital form instead of paper essential to saving rural hospitals and preserving their role as lifelines in rural communities across Illinois.
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, Representatives Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) sent a bipartisan letter along with 18 colleagues to the leadership of the House Committee on Appropriations and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration to urge the Committee to not include any language in the FY2022 appropriations bill that would prohibit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from allowing pharmaceutical prescribing information (PI) to be delivered in digital form instead of paper.
“Today, the interaction between healthcare providers, pharmacists, and patients has benefitted from modernization and the transition to a digital interface. This includes the widespread adoption of electronic health records and the utilization of electronic prescribing. Providers are already very familiar with electronic labeling information,” said the lawmakers. “Common sense modernization of the PI requirements will not only avoid a negative impact to patients but may actually improve patient care by allowing labeling updates to be shared more readily than updates made in paper form would permit. FDA’s PI modernization proposal was prudent in 2014 and should be self-evident in 2021.”
In the letter, the lawmakers highlight the current potential for the digital sharing of medical information among providers and how this change would give prescribers easy access to the most up-to-date product information available. Nothing in this FDA proposed rule would alter the material that a patient receives with a prescription.
The proposed rule would also have a long-lasting positive impact on the environment. The FDA estimates as many as three billion Prescription Inserts are produced annually, ranging from a few pages to as many as 45 pages. If the average length of an insert is 30 pages, that would mean 90 billion pieces of paper. Eliminating paper Prescription Inserts can lead to smaller shipping packages, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste, and have a beneficial environmental impact – saving approximately 4.8 million trees annually.
The full text of the bipartisan letter can be found below: