House panel OKs limits on implants

March 15, 1992|By Annapolis Bureau

ANNAPOLIS -- A House committee yesterday approved a weakened version of a bill designed to limit silicone breast implants in Maryland.

The Environmental Matters Committee voted 16-4 for a bill requiring physicians to comply with Food and Drug Administration requirements on silicone breast implants. Under the bill, a doctor who violates those requirements would be subject to disciplinary action in Maryland.

Introduced by Del. Joan B. Pitkin, a Prince George's Democrat, the bill originally had called for a temporary statewide ban on the implants in the wake of concerns about their safety.

But committee members said they believed that regulating implants should be left to the FDA. An FDA advisory panel has suggested that the federal government make those implants widely available to cancer patients but strictly limit their use by healthy women who want larger breasts.

A final ruling is expected this spring.

"It's a first step," Ms. Pitkin said of her bill, which now goes before the full House. "If the FDA doesn't move [on the issue], I'll

certainly be back with these bills next year."

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