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Advocacy at a Glance

February 15, 2019

Long Wait Is Over. FY 19 FDA Funding Will Be Set When the President Signs the Appropriations Bill. After the 35-day shutdown and weeks of negotiating both before and after, the entire federal government will be funded for FY 19 when the President signs the Appropriations bill. The top-line is exciting: a $269 million increase for FDA in FY 19, bringing appropriated funding to $3.068 billion. In addition to this total (not included in it), appropriators provided for the entire $70 million to be added to the FDA Innovation Fund, which was created by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Alliance is extremely pleased with the FY 19 FDA funding increase, noting that it is almost a 9% increase. Further, $269 million is $35 million higher than the mid-point between the House and Senate numbers, reflecting strong Congressional support for the agency. We expressed gratitude to appropriators for their support. We also expressed appreciation for Dr. Gottlieb’s leadership in proposing large increases for FDA, which set the tone for the year.

Many of the details of the FY 19 appropriations bill were covered in yesterday’s announcement from the Alliance. Please find the FDA portion of the Explanatory Statement of the conferees here and the FDA portion of the bill text here. This week’s Analysis and Commentary looks at some details of the FY 19 FDA funding and some related questions about the year ahead.

House Ag/FDA Appropriations Subcommittee Postpones Hearing with Commissioner Gottlieb. The hearing was to be on “FDA — Status of Operations,” a topic on which there is a lot of interest both on and off Capitol Hill. The subcommittee has not yet announced a new date.

Annual Alliance Lobby Day — Mark Your Calendars — March 19. On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Alliance will be on Capitol Hill for our Annual Lobby Day. Unlike the more focused meetings we just completed, on Lobby Day we strive for the largest number of participants and meetings, so we can help educate Congress about the mission of FDA and the importance of it being well-funded. Please RSVP here.

New Date Announced: Alliance to Host FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy. Alliance members and media are invited to our upcoming meeting with Anna Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation and Analysis at FDA. The event is on Tuesday, April 10, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be at a convenient, downtown DC location. Her remarks should provide valuable insight into FDA’s priorities for the rest of FY 19 and for FY 20. Please RSVP here.

Alliance Has Successful February 13 Meetings with Appropriators. Even while we were awaiting final resolution of FY 19 funding, the Alliance had 20 meetings on February 13 with the personal staff of members on the House and Senate Ag/FDA Appropriations subcommittees. Their interest and support for FDA was refreshing, reflecting the increasing awareness of the breadth of FDA’s responsibilities and the need for additional funding to carry out the agency’s mission. Next week’s Friday Update will have more details about what we heard. Meantime, our thanks to the many Alliance members who participated.

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