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SCOPES: Senate HELP Committee Passes Murray Bill to Improve Medical Device Safety for Patients

Passed the Committee with unanimous bipartisan support


Legislation introduced last week follows yearlong investigation into contaminated medical devices linked to outbreaks in Washington state and nationwide


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded unanimous HELP Committee passage of her bill to provide additional tools to review and ensure the safety of medical devices known as duodenoscopes. The Preventing Superbugs and Protecting Patients Act was introduced last week following Senator Murray’s yearlong investigation into outbreaks linked to duodenoscopes in hospitals across the country, including Virginia Mason Medical Center in Washington state. 

“It is great news this important bill to give the FDA additional tools to review and ensure the safety of medical devices has passed out of committee,” said Senator Murray. “There is much more to do as well to ensure the safety of medical devices like duodenoscopes, and I hope we can build on this step forward with additional efforts to ensure medical device safety for patients and families in Washington state and across the country.”

Find additional information about the bill here.

Following the January 2015 announcement of a tragic outbreak of antibiotic-resistant infections linked to contaminated duodenoscopes at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Murray called for a full review of FDA practices surrounding duodenoscopes and other medical devices, urged the agency to provide health care professionals with updated guidance, and pressed scope manufacturers linked to the outbreaks for answers and accountability. Last month following the investigation that highlighted multiple weaknesses in the safety monitoring system for medical devices, Olympus recalled the medical scopes. The FDA then cleared a newly redesigned duodenoscope to improve patient safety.