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WASHINGTON — Negotiations are intensifying over massive, multibillion-dollar legislation to fund the Food and Drug Administration, with just weeks left before the current agreement expires, four sources following the talks said.

Democrats this week made a counteroffer to Republicans including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who demanded in July that the so-called user fee bill pass without any additional health policy attached. Senate health committee leadership and House Energy & Commerce leadership are involved in the talks, one source said.


They said they’d move forward with Burr and Senate health committee Chair Patty Murray’s (D-Wash.) pandemic preparedness legislation if Republicans would agree to pass the House’s bipartisan mental health package, which would include the creation of a new office in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and millions of dollars in grant reauthorizations and programs, two drug industry lobbyists and an advocacy source said.

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