National Government

Health overhaul debate snags Senate pharmacy bill

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, Sen. David Vitter, R-La. speaks in Kenner, La. A year after a meningitis outbreak from contaminated pain injections killed at least 64 people and sickened hundreds, Congress is bringing compounding pharmacies that custom-mix medications for bulk purchasers under more federal oversight. But before the bill gets to President Barack Obama for his signature, it first has to clear a hurdle put in its path by Vitter in his ongoing campaign to discredit the presidentís health care overhaul. A test vote is scheduled for Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, Sen. David Vitter, R-La. speaks in Kenner, La. A year after a meningitis outbreak from contaminated pain injections killed at least 64 people and sickened hundreds, Congress is bringing compounding pharmacies that custom-mix medications for bulk purchasers under more federal oversight. But before the bill gets to President Barack Obama for his signature, it first has to clear a hurdle put in its path by Vitter in his ongoing campaign to discredit the presidentís health care overhaul. A test vote is scheduled for Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year after a meningitis outbreak from contaminated pain injections killed at least 64 people and sickened hundreds, Congress is ready to increase federal oversight over compounding pharmacies that custom-mix medications.

But before the bill gets to President Barack Obama for his signature, it first has to clear a hurdle put in its path by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter in his ongoing campaign to discredit the president's health care overhaul. A test vote is scheduled for Tuesday evening.

The pharmacy legislation was passed by the House in September. It also would create a system for tracking prescription drugs from manufacturers to retail pharmacies.

Vitter wants the Senate to first vote on making members of Congress disclose which of their aides are being exempted from having to sign up for so-called "Obamacare."

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