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Advocacy at a Glance

February 9, 2018

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 is Grateful to Dr. Gottlieb for Addressing Our Members on February 6. It was a full house, with more than 110 people attending. They heard him speak about personnel issues and agency priorities. He was also generous with his time and stayed for an extended Q&A session. Also among the attendees were more than a dozen reporters who, so far, have published at least 10 stories based on his remarks.
  • The President’s FY 19 Budget Request Scheduled for Release on February 12. The President’s FY 19 Budget Request is thousands of pages long, involving tens of thousands of numbers. With so much information released at the same time, a lot of things will be said that are confusing, misleading, or untrue. Since a lot of this is predictable, last week’s Analysis and Commentary looked at some broad areas of misunderstanding, notably that, despite the pundits, the President’s request is not dead on arrival. This week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at some of the foreseeable problems with what may be said about the FDA.
  • Budget Deal Reached; New CR Extends to March 23. After some dramatic brinksmanship and a very short shutdown, Congress adopted a new Continuing Resolution (CR) that will keep the government funded through March 23. Notably, the CR also contains a budget agreement for FY 18 and FY 19 that will dramatically increase discretionary spending. Non-defense programs will see additional cap space of $63 billion in FY 18 and $68 billion in FY 19. The new caps set appropriators free to complete appropriations legislation before the CR expires. The legislation would also allow the Treasury to continue to borrow through early next year, avoiding a debt ceiling vote until after the elections. The legislation contains $7.6 million for FDA to repair 12 sites that were damaged in last year’s hurricanes.
  • Opportunities to Become More Involved with the Alliance. Two activities are upcoming. Please consider signing up:
    •  Alliance to Meet With Appropriators in February and March. If you would like to participate in the first round of Hill visits — even for one or two meetings — please let us know. We hope that a broad cross-section of Alliance membership will be available and we will let that group know when  we have specific dates and times. To join this effort, please contact Eden Shiferaw.
    • Alliance to Meet with CDRH Director Jeffrey Shuren. In the first of several meetings planned for White Oak, the Alliance will be meeting with Dr. Shuren to learn about CDRH priorities and to better understand the Center’s resource  needs. The meeting is scheduled for March 7 in the early afternoon. To attend, please RSVP to Carrie Morgan. We hope to accommodate everyone who would like to go, but may need to assure a manageable-sized group and a good mix of FDA stakeholders.
  • Interested in Alliance Membership?  The Friday Update has a circulation of almost 1,000, far greater than our 150 members. If you are not a member and want information about joining, please contact Steven Grossman.

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