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Advocacy at a Glance

January 24, 2014

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.

  • The Alliance Says “Thank You” to Appropriators. As we have reported, the appropriations committees selected FDA and its critical public health mission as a priority program to be funded in the FY14 appropriations process.  Before we get too far into the FY15 appropriations process, we want to pause and say thank you to the appropriators for their recognition of FDA’s critical mission.  Next week we will be sending out a thank you letter from the Alliance to senior appropriators, and we also encourage each alliance member to send out a similar letter.  At the beginning of next week, please look for material from the Alliance to help structure your letter.
  • Alliance Quarterly Membership Meeting (Feb. 4 at 1:00 pm). Please come and meet two of the recent additions to Commissioner Hamburg’s senior management team — Deputy Commissioners Howard Sklamberg and Sally Howard.  Howard Sklamberg is the Deputy Commissioner for Global Regulatory Operations and Policy.  Mr. Sklamberg most recently was director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s (CDER) Office of Compliance (OC).  Sally Howard is the Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, and Legislation.  Prior to this position, Ms. Howard served as Chief of Staff to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Note: the meeting starts at 1 p.m., as will all of the quarterly member meetings in 2014.  The meeting will take place on the 10th Floor of 1333 New Hampshire Avenue, NW.
  • State of the Union/Release of the President’s Budget Request. The President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address will be Tuesday, January 28 at 9 p.m. We expect the focus will be on jobs and the economy, but always hope for a favorable FDA mention.
  • President’s FY 15 Budget to be Released on March 4. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has announced that the President’s budget request will be released a month later than usual. This will allow all of the final FY 14 appropriations to be inserted as the base year and for OMB and federal agencies to make adjustments to their requests in light of the FY 14 appropriated levels.
  • Debt Ceiling Fight Approaching. We are relieved that Congress has passed final FY 14 appropriations. Now, it is time for Congress to confront the other issue they deferred in the Fall: raising the debt ceiling. The Treasury Department has now told Congress that this needs to be done before the end of February. It is not clear how this relates to previously circulated estimates that the federal government might not need additional borrowing authority until late Spring.
  • Everyone’s Talking About “Regular Order Appropriations” for FY 15. In this week’s Analysis and Commentary, we explain what “regular order appropriations” are and begin the discussion of the impact on FDA funding.
  • Alliance Board Leadership for 2014.  The Alliance is pleased to announce our Board leadership for 2014: Kasey Thompson, President (American Society of Health System Pharmacists); Jeff Allen, Vice-President (Friends of Cancer Research); Andrew Emmett, Secretary (Biotechnology Industry Organization); Chris Waldrop, Treasurer (Consumer Federation of America); Caroline Smith DeWaal, Member of Executive Committee (Center for Science in the Public Interest); Darrell Jodrey, Member of Executive Committee (Johnson & Johnson). The Alliance would like to extend a special  thank you to Diane Dorman (National Organization for Rare Disorders) for her service as Alliance President for the past year. Diane will continue to serve on the Alliance’s Executive Committee and as Chair of the  Nominations Committee.

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