John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Drug Reform Bill

October 10, 1962

I am pleased to approve this bill, which is designed to provide safer and more effective drugs to the American consumer. Enactment of this legislation will help give the American consumer the protection from unsafe and ineffective drugs. It will also insure that our pharmaceutical industry will be even better equipped to provide us with the best possible drugs to be found anywhere.

The Congress is to be congratulated in moving so quickly. Fortunately, prior to the revelation of the dangers posed by drugs like thalidomide, the foundation for legislative action on drugs had been laid down in exhaustive hearings conducted by Senator Kefauver and others who introduced the present bill in its first version and in a legislative proposal on drugs and factory inspection introduced in the House by Congressman Harris.

I believe that enactment of this legislation is a major step forward toward giving necessary protection to the American consumer.

We are glad to have some of the members here who played a part in the enactment of this legislation from both the House and the Senate. As I say, we want to pay particular appreciation to Senator Kefauver for the long hearings which he held which permitted us to have very effective legislation on hand when this matter became of such strong public interest.

I understand that Congressman Harris, chairman of the House committee, is ill and cannot be with us today. I hope he is being treated with medication.

Note: The President spoke at 9:45 a.m. in his office at the White House. During his remarks he referred to Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Representative Oren Harris of Arkansas, Chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce.

The bill (S. 1552) as enacted is Public Law 87781 (76 Stat. 780).

John F. Kennedy, Remarks Upon Signing the Drug Reform Bill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives