A proposed US act aims to impose limitations on consent decrees and stop the “regulatory frenzy in Washington”.
In recent years the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has entered into consent decrees with Ranbaxy, Johnson & Johnson, Genzyme and others to address persistent manufacturing failings. Some Congressmen are critical of the system though and are trying to increase transparency.
“The regulatory frenzy in Washington has gotten out of control. Unaccountable bureaucrats make thousands of rules behind closed doors which costs businesses billions of dollars and ties them up in red tape”, Republican Congressman Ben Quayle said after introducing the bill .
In the bill Quayle, the son of former US vice president Dan Quayle, calls for a window for affected parties to intervene in the action. Any proposed consent decree would be published for comment ahead of being filed with the court.
The complaint in the action, the consent decree, and any attorney fees would also be published ‘in a readily accessible manner’. Steps proposed by Quayle are intended to place limitations on consent decrees.
Quayle cited a consent decree that will, he claims, raise electricity prices in Arizona by impacting Navajo Generating Station. The owner of the power station, Salt River Projects, has contributed $3,500 (€2,660) to Quayle’s 2012 campaign and an associated lobbyist has also provided funding .
The bill has three cosponsors, all of who are Republicans, and after being introduced at the start of February has been referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law.