Senator Jeff Sessions on Aug. 2 introduced a companion bill to the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2001 (H.R. 1956) being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee and by the Subcommittee on Health. Co-sponsoring Sessions' bill (S. 1346) are Sens. Wayne Allard, Jeff Bingaman, and Susan Collins. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
If passed, the MUMS act would create a program similar to the Human Orphan Drug program for minor animal species and minor uses, and would authorize the creation of an office within the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine to support the legislation's objectives. The CVM could provide conditional approval of drugs that are shown to be safe and have a reasonable expectation of efficacy for a limited time prior to full approval.
So far, 20 representatives have signed on as co-sponsors to the House bill since Rep. Chip Pickering introduced it in May.
Several animal health and producer groups, including the AVMA, are part of the MUMS Coalition, which is lobbying Congress to pass the bill. For more information about the bill and its status, contact AVMA headquarters at (800) 248-2862, ext. 452, or firstname.lastname@example.org; or the AVMA Governmental Relations Division at (800) 321-1473, ext. 611, or email@example.com.