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Congressman Biggs Introduces the Patient Access to Medical Foods Act

September 1, 2020
Press Release

GILBERT, ARIZONA – Today, Congressman Biggs introduced the Patient Access to Medical Foods Act to further expand treatment options for Americans.  

The FDA currently defines medical foods as any food product that is specifically manufactured to meet a distinctive nutritional need.  Unlike dietary supplements—a better-known but completely different product category—medical foods are often tailored to be consumed under ongoing physician supervision to help patients manage chronic conditions ranging from type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease.

The Patient Access to Medical Foods Act updates the Orphan Drug Act’s decades-old definition of medical foods and expands access to these products, including to Medicare Part D and TRICARE patients.  Congressman Biggs offered the following statement:

“Since entering Congress, I have been committed to offering Americans greater freedom and more options when it comes to their healthcare.  These efforts began with my fight for the Right to Try Act, which grants critically ill patients access to potentially life-saving medications that are deemed safe for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but have not yet completed the multiyear FDA approval process. That legislation was signed into law in 2018.  More recently, I introduced the Medical Innovation Acceleration Act to streamline approval of next-generation healthcare technology that could aid in our efforts to track rare diseases or mitigate future pandemics.

“Now I want to expand patient access to medical foods.  This important and rapidly growing healthcare sector remains largely unknown to most of the public, even though physicians have long recognized the value of these carefully vetted products.  We already know that patients clearly benefit from medical foods; with my reforms, it is likely that the American taxpayer increasingly will as well, since medical foods can often prevent or mitigate more costly medical procedures down the line.  I look forward to watching the growth of this innovative industry in the coming years.”      

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Congressman Andy Biggs is a second-term Representative from Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, representing parts of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Queen Creek. Congressman Biggs is a member of the House Judiciary and Science, Space, and Technology committees. He lives with his wife, Cindy, in Gilbert.