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Advocacy at a Glance

October 18, 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.

AFSFDA panelists

  • Alliance Holds “FDA 101” Hill Briefing.  On Friday morning the Alliance held a special briefing for congressional staff, entitled “FDA 101: The Vital Role of the Food and Drug Administration in our Nation’s Public Health and Economy.”  About 75 Hill staffers and Alliance members attended.  Panelists for the briefing (see above) were Sally Howard, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, and Legislation at FDA; Rachel King, CEO, GlycoMimetics; Caroline Smith DeWaal, Food Safety Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest; Kristin Pearson Wilcox, Vice President, Government Relations, International Bottled Water Association; and Mary Dwight, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and CF Community Affairs, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Ladd Wiley, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA moderated the briefing.   Attached please find a picture of the panelists from this morning’s briefing.
  • Lame Duck Session Will Be Here Soon. The election is only 2½ weeks away, on November 4. The House and Senate are both scheduled to come back into session on November 12. The next appropriations deadline is December 11, when the CR expires.  Historically, lame duck session don’t produce much legislation, despite great expectations and efforts. However, Congress will need to decide on funding during this lame duck session — whether through appropriations bills, an omnibus or by extension of the continuing resolution.
  • President’s FY 2016 Budget to Propose Sequester Relief for Non-Defense Programs. After a disastrous sequester of program funds in FY 13, the Murray-Ryan budget deal in December 2013 raised the spending caps for FY 14 and FY 15. This avoided sequestration in those years, but, starting next year, the potential for sequestration is back. This week, Shaun Donovan, director of OMB, announced that the President’s FY 16 budget proposal would include sequestration relief for non-defense programs. He stressed the need for funds to invest in infrastructure, research and development, and education.
  • Update on House 21st Century Cures Initiative. The Energy and Commerce Committee has announced that a draft bill is scheduled to be released in January that will incorporate ideas on how to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Members of the committee have tipped on a few of the ideas likely to be included: greater use of medical mobile applications and other new technologies; systems to deal with the massive data that will be created by these technologies; and centralized institutional review boards (IRBs). Members of the Committee have also mentioned the need for more resources for FDA and for research. This week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at the role of authorizing committees in FDA funding decisions.

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