May 10, 2007 - The U.S. Senate approved legislation on Wednesday to give the government new powers to police side effects of prescription drugs.
The measure responds to the 2004 withdrawal of the arthritis pill
Vioxx and complaints that regulators did not respond quickly to early signs of heart problems with the Merck & Co Inc. drug.
The bill is meant to strengthen FDA oversight after a drug is approved. The measure also extends industry fees that help pay for product reviews.
The Senate measure must be reconciled with legislation expected in the House of Representatives.