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Advocacy at a Glance

March 1, 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.

  • Alliance President Diane Dorman Expresses Concern on Inadequate FDA Funding. On Wednesday Alliance President Diane Dorman warned that FDA’s mission is “at risk” because of inadequate funding. Ms. Dorman testified before the FDA Science Board. Her remarks come 5 years after the Science Board made a similar declaration, concluding that decades of underfunding had left FDA without the resources to fulfill its mandate and make science-based decisions. Her remarks are available here.
  • Meetings with Agriculture Appropriators. This week the Alliance held meetings with the staff of House and Senate Agriculture Appropriators regarding FDA funding in the sequester and the FY 2013 and FY 2014 appropriations cycles.
  • Alliance for a Stronger FDA Hill Day, Tuesday, March 19th, Please Save the Date. This year’s Alliance Hill Day will take place on Tuesday, March 19th. Please save the date and stay tuned for additional details regarding the day’s activities. We are planning for an extraordinary day of advocacy in support of increased FDA funding. While we view the annual event as an important part of our advocacy efforts, this year’s Hill Day will be extra-important given the intense downward budgetary pressures.
  • House FDA Appropriations Hearing, April 11th. The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled a hearing on FDA’s FY 2014 budget for April 11th.
  • Alliance Members Emphasize FDA Funding. This week,
    • The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) held the 2013 PAN Forum, which brought together over 260 people with Parkinson’s, their families, health care professionals, and Parkinson’s researchers for 2 days of education and a day on Capitol Hill. PAN advocates held nearly 300 Hill meetings and drop-bys asking Congress to maintain funding for FDA and for biomedical research.
    • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)  mentioned FDA funding in a press release expressing concern over the sequester.  Also in a separate press release, Peter L. Saltonstall, NORD’s president and CEO, stated: “Enormous progress has been made in recent years on both the research and the regulatory fronts, but budget cuts at NIH and FDA could have a very harmful effect on the current momentum.”
    • AdvaMed President Steve Ubl also raised concern regarding FDA funding in a press event in Washington.  Numerous publications featured these concerns.
    • Faster Cures Executive Director Margaret Anderson highlighted how lack of FDA funding jeopardizes new life-saving cures in the March 2013 issue of Science Translational Medicine. The piece is available if you click here.
    • Alliance  Deputy Executive Director Steven Grossman briefed nearly 200 volunteers of the Rare Disease Legislative Advocates as they prepared for their Hill day urging legislators to protect and increase FDA and NIH funding.
    • Similarly, next week the Alliance will be briefing National MS Society volunteers in preparation for their Hill day meetings where they will be advocating  for increased FDA funding.
  • Sequestration Scorecard. This table is the Alliance’s worksheet — not anyone’s official tabulation. Numbers are approximate/rounded and imprecisely adjusted for the small number of unnamed programs that OMB decided were exempt. However, it should be helpful in understanding the total monies and relative proportions associated with the sequester.
 Sequestration FY 13 CR
(to 3/27/13)
Less sequester
(assumes 5.1%)
 BA appropriations $2.1 billion $ 107 million
 User fees (inc. tobacco and generics UF) $1.6 billion $   82 million
 Totals $4.1 billion $ 209 million

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