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Advocacy at a Glance

October 28, 2011

Advocacy at a Glance offers you the bullet point summary of current advocacy issues associated with the goals of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

  • FY12 Agriculture/FDA Appropriations Bill Status.  Next week, the Senate returns from its at-home work period and is expected to continue consideration of the Agriculture/FDA Appropriations Bill as part of a larger spending bill. The Senate bill includes approximately  $50 million for FDA over the FY 11 funding level.
    Should the Senate pass the Agriculture/FDA Appropriations Bill, we can expect the legislation to move rapidly to the House, which will amend the bill and request a conference.  As you may recall, the House voted to decrease FDA’s budget for FY12 by $285 million.  This is a difference of $335 million between the House and Senate positions on FDA funding for FY12.
  • Action Item Request: Conference Letter.   As discussed in Thursday’s membership meeting, the Alliance will be asking Alliance member organizations to send letters encouraging House appropriators to accept the (likely higher) Senate levels.  The Alliance will be forwarding more specific details on the letter in the next few days when Senate action occurs.  Please begin to prepare your organization for rapid response to this call to action.
  • Hill Meeting.  The Alliance met with Congressman Jack Kingston (R, GA), Chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee this week.  Chairman Kingston listened to the Alliance’s requests and our supporting arguments. He expressed a desire for greater detail on what FDA would be able to accomplish if given funding greater than that proposed by the House.  We are working to respond quickly to the Chairman’s request.
  • Alliance Membership Meeting Recap.  The Alliance held its annual membership meeting on Thursday and was privileged to hear remarks from Dr. Stephen Spielberg, FDA’s recently appointed Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco.  Dr. Spielberg’s remarks focused on the important role FDA will play in providing physicians with new therapeutic tools and patients with better medical care. To accomplish this, he foresees FDA collaborating to a much greater degree with industry, patient organizations, and other government  agencies.   (Please see more on Dr. Spielberg’s presentation in this week’s Analysis and Commentary.)

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