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Advocacy at a Glance

May 8, 2015

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.

  •  Seven Senators Support Food Funding. The need for full funding of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has drawn the attention of a group of seven Democratic Senators.  These include Senators Schatz (Hawaii), Durbin (IL), Blumenthal (CT), Feinstein (CA), Frankin (MN), Gillibrand (NY), and Klobuchar (MN). They sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting the $109.5 million increase in FDA food safety funding that had been part of the President’s FY 16 budget request. More on the letter can be found here.
  • 21st Century Cures to Resume with Mark-up. The House is on recess this week, but we have been told by third parties that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is expecting to begin marking-up draft 21st Century Cures language soon (possibly as early as May 14). The mark-up is likely to take several days. Meantime, the Senate held a hearing last week and is moving forward, albeit more slowly than the House.
  • Will Cures Legislation Include Additional Monies for FDA? As currently drafted, the 21st Century Cures legislation poses a problem for FDA. There are multiple new FDA responsibilities, yet neither the draft legislation nor accompanying statements specify increased funding for the agency to carry out the additional work. The Alliance is concerned with unfunded mandates for the agency, and is encouraging Congress to add funding to as part of any legislation moving forward. We are encouraged by conversations between the Committee and FDA in terms of determining resource needs.  We are further encouraged by a number of committee members stressing funding issues at a hearing last week. Nonetheless, it is important that committee leadership publicly recognize and provide a path forward on FDA funding.
  • FDA Responsibility, FDA Accountability, and the Need for Funding. FDA has a broad mandate and, quite literally, thousands of responsibilities. For this, it receives $2.6 billion in appropriated (budget authority) appropriations and nearly $2 billion more from user fees (including tobacco user fees). Accountability for both types of funds is essential if FDA hopes to receive additional monies for its existing and proposed responsibilities. These concepts are explored further in today’s Analysis and Commentary.

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