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Advocacy at a Glance

July 13, 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 and 61 Co-signers Send Letter to Congress Boosting FDA Appropriations. On July 10, the Alliance for a Stronger FDA told Appropriations leadership in the House and Senate about FDA’s FY 19 funding needs. The letter concludes:

    We respectfully urge you to provide robust funding that includes the higher funding levels that are proposed in the House and Senate bills and ensure that the FDA has the flexibility to use appropriations wisely. We also strongly believe that FDA needs the physical capacity to undertake its many important tasks, and therefore urge you to adopt the House level of funding provided for White Oak expansion.

    Thank you to the 61 organizations that co-signed the letter with us.

  • Timing of Ag/FDA Appropriations Bills Still TBD. The House’s next funding package will wrap together its fiscal 2019 Interior-Environment and the Financial Services spending bills. It is slated for floor action the week of July 16. The House will be in one additional week after that, with August recess scheduled to start on July 26. This leaves open the possibility of the House taking up one more minibus package in July. However, this has not been announced and we have no indication whether Ag/FDA appropriations will be considered or held over for the House’s return in September. Last week’s Analysis and Commentary describes, among other things, the negative consequences if even a few months of FY 19 are funded by a Continuing Resolution, rather than an appropriation. This week’s column walks through the scenarios that might result in a Continuing Resolution.
  • FDA Delivers “21st Century Cures” Report on Progress in Recruiting and Retaining Staff.  A new FDA report, required by the 21st Century Cures Act, outlines the agency’s current workforce needs. The report describes how the FDA is using the new personnel authorities given to it by Cures, as well as the agency’s broader efforts to recruit and retain staff. The report highlights the potential impact of large numbers of senior agency leadership being retirement eligible. The report also notes that the new salary authorities still don’t create parity with the private sector: a medical officer is making 46 percent below market rate pay at FDA and a mathematical statistician is making 41 percent less
  • Some FDA History Worth Knowing. We all know that FDA did not emerge 112 years ago in its current form. Rather, the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act has been amended multiple times, adding new additional agency missions and reflecting evolving standards for food, drugs, biologics, medical devices, personal care products, and dietary supplements. A recent FDA Voice blog column commemorates the 80th anniversary of the 1938 Act and recounts the history leading up to the profound changes in that year’s Act.

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