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Advocacy at a Glance

December 16, 2016

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.

  • FY 17 Continuing Resolution to Run Through April 28, 2017. Late last Friday night, just before the Continuing Resolution was to expire, Congress passed a new CR that runs through April 28, 2017 and keeps the FY 16 funding level. As we have noted previously, a half-year CR (or longer) is not a favorable outcome for FDA or any other federal agency with growing responsibilities that can’t be met with the prior year’s budget. Among other things, a long-term CR makes it difficult to plan, risky to make hires with budget authority funds, and generally slows new, non-emergency initiatives. We have also been told that the new CR includes an across-the-board cut of 0.19% for all accounts, including defense and non-defense programs. More details on the CR can be found in this summary. The CR also contains the first $20 million of funding for FDA to implement the 21st Century Cures legislation.
  • Cures Signed by President, Becomes Law. After a two-year effort to reach bipartisan agreement, 21st Century Cures became law on December 13. For a fuller description of the monies available to FDA under the new law, please click here. For the advocacy challenge that we face as a result of Cures, please click here. The authorizing committees went to considerable lengths to assure that FDA’s new responsibilities would be funded and for this we are grateful. However, there is no victory if the new monies offset existing appropriations rather than being additive to the agency’s budget.
  • Initially, New Administrations Bring Uncertainty. The FDA stakeholder community is watching as the Trump Administration takes shape, wondering what is in store for the agency in 2017. That uncertainty will have dissipated by next Spring when personnel, policies, priorities, and programs are in place. Meantime, the Alliance’s job is to make sure that both the new Administration and the new Congress hear about what the FDA does, why it is important, and how additional resources are needed for it to run well. This week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at some of the key issues for FDA in 2017 and how resources play an important role.
  • Administrative Items – Dues Payments and Slate for Board Membership. As the Alliance looks to wrap up 2016 and plans for 2017, please be on the look out for two administrative items. First, earlier this month, each primary contact for the Alliance should have received a 2017 dues invoice. Please let us know if you did not receive one, and to the extent you can put it into processing as early as possible, we greatly appreciate it. Second, we will be sending a slate of 10 candidates for the board on Monday of next week. Please take time to review and vote on it — we need your input.
  • Next Issue of Friday Update Will Be January 6. The regular Friday Update, with the pieces on Advocacy at a Glance and Analysis and Commentary, will not be published over the holidays. We will be back with more information and insights on January 6, 2017.

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