Obama to Sign Prescription Drug Executive Order

Using the legal force of an executive order, President Obama is taking action on the health care front as part of his pressure on Congress for action on his jobs plan.

White House officials say at a midday signing ceremony in the Oval Office, the president will address price gouging and the availability of prescription drugs. He will also endorse what he describes as bipartisan legislation awaiting action.

“The shortage of prescription drugs drives up costs, leaves consumers vulnerable to price gouging and threatens our health and safety,” an administration official says.

Obama is to sign “an Executive Order directing the FDA to take action to help further reduce and prevent drug shortages, protect consumers and prevent price gouging. The White House will also announce the President’s support for bipartisan legislation (S. 296 and H.R. 2245) that will give the FDA new tools to prevent drug shortages,” the White House says.

Also invited to the event are a Boston pharmacist and a San Francisco cancer patient.