President Trump signed into law a funding package for the Food and Drug Administration that also takes steps to lower drug prices.
The president signed into law the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 on Friday. It reauthorizes a program in which drug and device makers pay the FDA a fee for every new product application, and the agency uses that money to hire more people and speed up approvals.
The law also includes a measure that lets the FDA hasten development of a generic drug if an off-patent product with no competition is being sold at an egregiously high price.
The user fee program must be reauthorized every five years. The current program expires at the end of September, and if it hadn't been signed into law before then, the agency would have had to lay off workers.
The Trump administration had sought to have 100 percent of the FDA be funded by user fees. However, the user fee agreement had already been negotiated between the agency and the industry, leaving little time to return to the negotiating table.
The White House had said when the bill passed the Senate this month that Trump was expected to sign it.