Pentagon could approve drugs, devices for military under new defense bill

A new defense policy bill would grant the U.S. Department of Defense power to approve drugs and medical devices for use in the military, reports Politico.

Section 732 of the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act would develop a regulatory pathway for the department to sign off on "emergency uses for medical products to reduce deaths and severity of injuries caused by agents of war," the bill reads.

While lawmakers supporting the bill say this measure is crucial and long overdue, Food and Drug Administration leaders and HHS officials say creating a new pathway for approvals is dangerous and unnecessary.

The bill is in the hands of a conference committee, which could finalize the legislation's language by the end of the week.

FDA declined Politico's request to comment on the legislation.

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