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U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler Bill to Make Medication Safer and More Effective for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms Included in Bipartisan Legislative Package

“21st Century Cures” package to improve medical treatments and cures scheduled for a U.S. House vote on Wednesday; will include bipartisan bill authored by Reps. Herrera Beutler and Castor

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Washington, D.C. , November 29, 2016 | comments
Today, U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) applauded the inclusion of their Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act in a bipartisan medical innovation and mental health reform package.
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Today, U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) applauded the inclusion of their Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act in a bipartisan medical innovation and mental health reform package. This package, the 21st Century Cures Act, is expected to receive approval by both the U.S. House and Senate before the end of the year, and be signed into law.

Reps. Herrera Beutler and Castor introduced the Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act last spring to address the dangers posed to mothers and infants by the lack of research on medication taken during pregnancy and lactation. This bipartisan solution will identify major research gaps involving pregnant and lactating women who take prescription medication, and detail ways to promote safer medications for them to use. More details on the bill are available here.

“Moms who take medication for chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes or depression are often playing a guessing game when it comes to the impacts on them and their babies. They’re often choosing between taking medication with an unknown and potentially harmful effect, or not treating their conditions altogether. Both are poor choices, and highlight the need for this important solution,” said U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. “Almost four million women in the U.S. give birth each year, and more than three million breastfeed their infants – and they deserve information about what medications and what doses are safe to take. I appreciate Congresswoman Castor’s partnership in fixing this dangerous information gap, and better protecting the health of mothers and infants.”

“The Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act ensures that expectant mothers and their doctors have adequate and accurate information about medications used during pregnancy and when nursing to facilitate the best health outcomes,” said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. “Experts advised that we need focused research to assess the risks of current medications on the market to mothers and babies. U.S. Rep. Herrera Beutler has been a champion for families and I am grateful to her for leading this effort to improve the quality of data and information on medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”

More information about the Safe Medication for Moms and Babies Act:

The Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act will establish a taskforce of federal and medical experts to advance research and information sharing on medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The task force will report to Congress:

• a plan to identify and address gaps in knowledge and research regarding safe and effective medications for pregnant women and lactating women;
• the state of federal research involving pregnant and lactating women, recommendations for the coordination of, and collaboration on, research related to pregnant and lactating women.
• detail what can be done to promote development of safer medications for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

The Safe Medications for Moms and Babies Act is supported by March of Dimes, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Nurse Midwives, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology, Society for Women’s Health Research.
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