House, Senate pass patent reform bills; industry opposes
WASHINGTON The House of Representatives has passed the Patent Reform Act by a vote of 220-175.
Along with its Senate counterpart, S. 1145, industry leaders have viewed the bill as a means of making the pharmaceutical industry a “much more friendly place for infringers,” said Biotechnology Industry Organization president and chief executive officer Jim Greenwood.
The organization opposes the bill because, it “puts a risk a whole host of innovators,” said Greenwood. The Bush administration has concerns over the bill regarding limiting court discretion over awards and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association also has concerns over the bill according to president and chief executive officer Kathleen Jaeger.
The administration on Monday had criticized a provision changing how damages are calculated in infringement suits, criticizing the limiting of courts in determining damages. “Making this change to a reasonably well-functioning patent legal system is unwarranted and risks reducing the rewards from innovation—a result that would undercut the other useful reforms in this bill,” it said in a statement.
FDA to consider using symbols, color coding on nutrition labels
WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration is considering adding symbols to nutrition labels to help make shopping for healthier choices a simpler task, officials revealed on Monday.
Similar to a traffic light system, future nutrition labels may rank foods by a red, yellow or green mark to allow shoppers to decipher between food that is low or high in fat, sugar or salt.
The system is already used in Great Britain, but officials have pointed out that any steps towards updating nutrition labels are for now, just an idea.
Some food manufacturers, like PepsiCo, have used their “Smart Spot” symbols on everything from diet sodas to potato chips to show consumers they are enjoying the foods they love without sacrificing their health in the process.
Ann Marie Krautheim, a nutrition expert National Dairy Council, said setting up a consistent system would be helpful, if it was tested on consumers to assure its effectiveness. Krautheim also said, however, the Council’s own research proved that consumers were more likely to choose taste over nutrition.
Wedgewood Pharmacy technician training program gets approval
SWEDESBORO, N.J. Wedgewood Pharmacy, the largest compounding pharmacy in the United States, has announced that the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy has approved a 14-module, eight-hour program for training technicians.
When the program is completed, each technician must complete an examination and demonstrate a high level of understanding in all state rules and statutes concerning pharmacy, HIPPA regulations, and the company’s own quality standards.
The company also has monthly training services for all of its technicians, which is required by the company.