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Advocacy at a Glance

March 3, 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.

  • Alliance Announces Its FY 19 Request; Tells Congress that FDA Needs More Support. The President’s FY 19 budget request for FDA was remarkably and unexpectedly good: a $473 million increase in budget authority (taxpayer) funding over the FY 17 base. For the Alliance’s description and very positive reaction, see here and here. There are also some important unknowns: Congress has not set the FY 18 baseline; and the Administration has not yet released the budget-in-detail (300+ pages). … Despite those uncertainties, Members of Congress, as well as Alliance members, have pressed us to formalize our FY 19 “ask” for FDA funding. We are stating our recommendations in two parts:
    • Support for the President’s request for medical products, which appears to be the entirety of the proposed $473 million increase
    • Support for a $50 million increase for food safety over whatever turns out to be the FY 18 base, which is not in the President’s request

These are reflected in the two attachments (see here and here), which were submitted to the office of House subcommittee chairman Robert Aderholt’s office. We urge Alliance members to include these numbers in their own requests to Member’s offices. For background on that process and direction on content and deadlines, see here.  For more on the Alliance’s FY 19 “ask,” see this week’s Analysis and Commentary.

  • Alliance Regularly Meets with Congress; Please Join Us.  This year’s Alliance Hill Day is Wednesday, April 25. Not only are we able to set-up 60 or more Hill meetings in one day, but our members enjoy interacting with a broad cross-section of FDA stakeholders whose causes are different from their own. Please put it on your calendar and hold the date. The Alliance also meets with Congress year-round, not just on Hill Day. If you would like to join us for some of those meetings, please let Eden know.
  • FY 18 Appropriations Need to be Completed Before Consideration of FY 19. It is hard to fully concentrate on the FY 19 appropriations process when FY 18 funding has not been set. It is five full months into the fiscal year with a CR in place — not a record period of time, but one that causes discomfort for appropriators and for agencies trying to plan their spending in efficient ways. The current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on March 23. There are reports today that they are making progress on reconciling funding differences between the House and Senate, but that there could be serious problems with various other items, including policy riders, that Members was to add to the legislation.
  • Interested in Alliance Membership? The Alliance’s effectiveness is directly tied to the depth and breadth of our membership, so if you are not a member please consider joining. Our membership includes, among others, consumer and patient groups, health professions societies, trade groups, industry, and individuals. For more information, please contact Steven Grossman.


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