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Media Release: April 12, 2011

FDA PRESERVED, STRENGTHENED UNDER FINAL FY 11 CONTINUING RESOLUTION

Alliance for a Stronger FDA Applauds Congressional Action

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2011 – The Alliance for a Stronger FDA praised Congressional appropriators and leaders for recognizing that FDA needs to be better funded, despite the tremendous downward pressures on the federal budget. Under the final FY 11 Continuing Resolution announced today, FDA would receive a $107 million increase over FY 10 funding levels.

“ Congress heard our message that a robust well-funded FDA is essential for patients, consumers and industry,” said Nancy Bradish Myers, President of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and President of Catalyst Healthcare Consulting. “Safe foods and safe and effective medical products are possible only if FDA has the resources and manpower to address complex science and increasing globalization.”

She added: “We are mindful of the need to reduce our nation’s budget deficit. Nonetheless, a strong FDA is critical to our national efforts to stimulate innovation and job growth, build a stronger economy and reduce future deficits by lessening the costly burden of disease and disability. The Alliance will continue to make our case as the Congress considers FY 12 appropriations this Spring and Summer.”

Under the funding legislation to be considered this week by Congress, FDA will receive $2.462 billion in budget authority appropriations for FY 11, the current fiscal year. Congress also included language that permits FDA to utilize $170 million of HHS monies to support development of medical countermeasures to respond to chemical, biological, radiation or nuclear attack by terrorists.

“The promise of the life sciences – economic expansion, jobs, and new therapies for unmet medical needs – requires a well-funded FDA and a strong, reliable regulatory environment,” said James C. Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. “We applaud Congress’ decision to increase FDA’s FY 11 budget, which industry has supported throughout this appropriations cycle.”

One of the Alliance’s key initiatives this year is to demonstrate to policymakers that FDA is a regulatory agency that can expand our nation’s economy. The Alliance recently released a white paper that describes some of the FDA-related advantages of maintaining the U.S. leadership role in the global economy and the potential costs to the domestic economy and U.S. exports if FDA falls behind.  The full report, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration: A Cornerstone of America’s Economic Future, can be downloaded from the Alliance web site.

“Food contributes nearly $1.2 trillion to our economy, or 8% of the U.S. gross domestic product. Ensuring the safety of our food supply is as essential as providing for our national defense,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, an Alliance Board Member and Director of Food Safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Added Scott Faber, an Alliance Board Member and Vice President of Public Affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association: “Protecting our food supply is a major part of FDA’s mission. Both the food industry and consumers benefit from a strong FDA and a growing economy.”

“If we are to advance medical progress and improve patients’ lives–which will significantly bolster the US economy–we need to start making the FDA a national priority.” said Margaret Anderson, Vice President of the Alliance and Executive Director of FasterCures. “We are grateful that Congress recognizes the need for increased FDA funding and supports improvements in regulatory science at the agency.”

The Alliance’s 180 members — comprised of consumer, patient, professional and research groups, companies, trade associations, and individuals — represent millions of Americans who support increased appropriated funding for FDA.  More information about the Alliance can be found at www.StrengthenFDA.org.

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