Bill to Identify Gluten in Medicines Introduced in Congress

Zachary Leshin | October 2, 2015 | 4:24pm EDT
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Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). (AP photo)

( -- U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced a bill on Tuesday to make it easier for people suffering from gluten-related disorders to identify medications that contain gluten.

The Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2015 would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (which does not currently mention gluten) to require all medications intended for human use to disclose whether they contain any ingredient (other than a sugar alcohol) that is derived from a grain or contains the reaction-causing protein.

The bill is intended to help people with Celiac disease avoid gluten. According to a 2012 Mayo Clinic study, 1 in 141 Americans suffer from the disorder.

“People need to be able to trust that the medicine they are prescribed will improve their health, not worsen it,” said Ryan in a press release.

“Celiac disease is a growing issue in our country and those suffering have the right to know if their medicine contains ingredients that are adverse to their health. I am proud to introduce legislation that will help prevent the serious health risks and frustrations that Americans suffering from this disease are forced to deal with on a daily basis.

“These men and women are simply asking for the information they need to protect their health and wellbeing, and as Members of Congress we owe them this clarity” Ryan added.

“Americans deserve to know what is in their food and drugs,” agreed Lowey. “Providing uniform standards for food and drug labeling will make a world of difference to the quality of life for people with celiac disease.

“I wrote the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act because I wanted to help millions of people coping with food allergies and related health challenges. We now need clear labels on drugs that contain gluten, so millions of Americans can have peace of mind that the positive effect of their medicine isn’t counteracted by ingredients harmful to them," she said.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). (AP photo)

“With FDA labeling requirements for gluten-free foods now secured, Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) is pleased to support Representative Tim Ryan and Congresswoman Lowey’s Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act,” said Marilyn Geller, CEO of the Celiac Disease Foundation.

“The celiac disease community should be able to take both prescription and non-prescription medicines with as much confidence as possible that it will improve our quality of life. Without this legislation, that confidence is missing,” Geller said.

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