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Advocacy at a Glance

February 8, 2013

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.

  • White House Releases Fact Sheet on Sequester, Predicts Delays in Drug Approval and Decreases in Food Safety Inspections. On Friday, The White House released a fact sheet containing examples of the sequester’s potential impacts on the middle class families, jobs and economic security. The fact sheet highlights the potential effects sequester would have on new drug approvals and food safety:
    • New drug approvals: The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) would face delays in translating new science and technology into regulatory policy and decision-making, resulting in delays in new drug approvals. The FDA would likely also need to reduce operational support for meeting review performance goals, such as the recently negotiated user fee goals on new innovative prescription drugs and medical devices.
    • Cuts to food safety: Outbreaks of foodborne illness are a serious threat to families and public health. If a sequester takes effect, up to 2,100 fewer food inspections could occur, putting families at risk and costing billions in lost food production.
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on The Impacts of Sequestration, February 14. The Senate full Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing to examine the impacts of sequestration on February 14 at 10:00 am. For more information on the hearing please click here.
  • House Appropriations Minority Staff Study Highlights Effects of Sequestration on Food Safety. This week the House minority staff released a study on the effects of sequestration on nondefense discretionary spending including food safety. According to the study, with smaller funding increases and a rising level of imports, FDA estimates the import line inspection rate would drop by 24 percent in 2013, compared to 2011
  • House Hill Visits. On February 6, the Alliance visited with House offices, meeting with staffers whose Members are on the Agriculture/FDA appropriations subcommittee. With Congress still organizing committee work, the pending sequester on March 1 and the delay of the President’s FY 14 budget request, there wasn’t much they could tell us about the subcommittee’s plans. However, the meetings provided us with an opportunity to hear more about their concerns and to provide insight into what FDA does and why it is so important. More meetings will be scheduled soon for the both the House and the Senate.
  • 2013 State of the Union address. President Obama will update Americans on the important issues facing our country and outline his legislative agenda in the State of the Union Address on Tuesday February 12, at 9:00 pm ET.
  • Commissioner Hamburg Address Alliance Quarterly Meeting. On February 5, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg spoke to the Alliance’s quarterly membership meeting, followed by an extensive question and answer period. The highlights of the meeting were covered by three trade publications: FDA News, FDA Week, and the Pink Sheet. Their stories are attached and we express appreciation for the publications’ willingness to let us share.

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