Congressman DeSaulnier Introduces Bill to Hold Companies Accountable for their Public Health Impacts
Washington, DC – Today, during National Public Health Week, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) introduced the National Public Health Act to hold corporations accountable for products they make that contribute to public health crises, like the opioid epidemic, asthma, obesity, and chronic diseases.
“For hundreds of years, corporations have been contributing to public health epidemics without paying their fair share. Prescription drug companies like Purdue Pharma marketed their drugs despite knowing they were addictive and were contributing the opioid epidemic – an epidemic that has taken more than 700,000 lives and costs the U.S. $78.5 billion annually. There should be consequences when companies earn private profits, but drive up public health costs. We owe it to the next generation to hold these companies accountable as we work to create a healthier future for our country,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.
The National Public Health Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with the National Academy of Medicine to establish and continuously update a list of public health crises. The Secretary of HHS would also be required to develop a list of products that contribute to these public health crises. Any company that manufactures these products would then be required to develop and implement a plan to mitigate any public health impacts of the covered product.
DeSaulnier previously introduced this bill in 2018 (H.R. 6481) and authored a similar bill while serving in the California State Senate (SB 747).