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Hill Day and Other Upcoming Alliance Advocacy Initiatives

January 17, 2020

Congressional staff are always impressed by the size and breadth of our membership and the strength of our commitment to increased budget authority appropriations for FDA. They rarely see coalitions like ours that truly represent all the stakeholders. It helps (a lot) that FDA is a good cause. Its mission keeps growing and requires a budget to match.

FY 21 is going to be an exceedingly difficult year for growth in non-defense programs. To succeed, our case for FDA is going to need to be even more persuasive and reach even more decision-makers.

Our biggest event is our Hill Day, now scheduled for Wednesday, March 18. Typically, we have more than 60 meetings that day, with the involvement of more than 60 Alliance members. Please mark your calendars. If possible, sign up soon with Reed Diskey and specify whether you will be available all day or just morning or afternoon. You do not have to be an Alliance member to be part of our Hill Day.

There will also be more focused efforts to meet with Hill staff. The first, on  February 12, involves meetings with staff of members of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and Subcommittee Clerks. We are looking for about a dozen Alliance members to help that day. To be involved, contact Reed. If we have more people than we can use that day, please let Reed know if you want to be available for future Hill meetings and whether you can join us on March 18.

To expand our reach on the Hill, we encourage Alliance members to include increased FDA funding as part of their “ask” in Hill meetings. If you would like our help, let us know what materials you need, the date of your Hill Day, and any relevant deadlines. This effort will be coordinated by Liz Stower, a new member of the Alliance team.

To complement our Hill outreach, we will be holding a number of Alliance member-only meetings with FDA leaders to better understand the opportunities, challenges and priorities at the agency. The first of these meetings, on January 21 with Dr. Peter Marks, Director of CBER, is already full. A second meeting, with Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, Director of CDRH on February 4, has room for some additional participants. If you are interested, contact Reed. More such meetings are planned.

We can accommodate a limited number of people at these FDA meetings and, also, at some of the Hill meetings. Our priority will be to assure that meeting participants are representative of the broad set of stakeholders that belong to the Alliance. Over time, we hope to include all interested Alliance members in one or another of these smaller meetings. (Note: If you are unsure whether you are an Alliance member, contact Steven Grossman.

We are also planning several larger members-only events, including a webinar (speaker to be announced shortly) and presentations by FDA officials. These larger meetings are also open to the media. All meetings — large and small — will be announced in future Friday Updates.

Editorial note: The Analysis and Commentary section is written by Steven Grossman, Deputy Executive Director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

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