WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will likely sign into law a bill that could provide more work for the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson.
The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act cleared the Senate, 92-4, on Tuesday and it now heads to the president for his consideration.
Within that bill is a provision that Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., sponsored to authorize $25 million annually for the FDA to assess nanomaterials used in drugs and other products.
The research center near Pine Bluff is already equipped to conduct such scientific research.
The White House has indicated its strong support for the overall legislation saying it would speed safe and effective drugs and medical devices to patients. The bill would provide more than $6 billion in industry user fees to the FDA over the next five years to help defray the cost of safety and effectiveness reviews by the agency.
Pryor worked with Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., to secure funding for nanotechnology research in the bill. FDA’s consolidated headquarters at White Oak, Md., could also conduct the scientific studies required under the legislation.
“Nanotechnology is increasingly being used to improve everyday products, yet we have little independent research to show whether these products remain safe once they contain nanomaterials,” Pryor said. “This bill provides an opportunity for the FDA to focus more on these health and safety studies.”
Pryor said he is hoping the Jefferson center would be given the work saying it has a “strong record of excellence” and would be “an ideal candidate to take the lead in this arena.”