Legislation introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, would grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to force drug recalls instead of just recommending companies remove their products, Law360 reported.

A recall is a method of removing or correcting products that violate the laws administered by the FDA. It is currently a voluntary action on the part of drug manufacturers and distributors to protect the public health and well-being from products that present a risk of injury or are otherwise defective. The FDA can recommend that a pharmaceutical company recall a drug, and most do. But some refuse. In some of those cases, the FDA has issued warnings to the public not to use a particular product. For example, the FDA has warned consumers not to use about 165 hand sanitizers because they contain a toxic ingredient.

However, the FDA does have the authority to force recalls of medical devices and vaccines.

“My commonsense bill would help protect Michiganders and people across the country from harmful or dangerous drug products by giving the FDA full authority to require companies to recall any unsafe drug product,” Peters said. It’s not the first time lawmakers have floated legislation to increase the FDA’s authority over drug products. In January, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) reintroduced similar legislation.

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