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Media Release: February 24, 2009

ALLIANCE APPLAUDS CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON FY 09 APPROPRIATIONS BILL

FDA Would Receive $2.04 Billion in FY 09; $325 Million More than in FY 08

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2009 — The Alliance for a Stronger FDA applauded introduction yesterday of an Omnibus Appropriations bill to revise funding for federal agencies in the current fiscal year. Within this bill, FDA is provided a $325 million increase over the FY 08 appropriation. For the first time, FDA will receive $2 billion in appropriated funds. The House is expected to take up the legislation this week; and the Senate early next week.

“This is an important downpayment on the FDA’s ability to fulfill its mission as the nation’s health protection agency,” said Wayne Pines, President of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. “FDA will now have added funds to meet the most pressing needs today and to start to plan for the challenges tomorrow and next year.”

“We are grateful for the continued support of Congress,” said Diane Dorman, an Alliance Board member and Vice President, Public Policy at the National Organization for Rare Disorders. “We are particularly fortunate to have Congressional champions on both sides of the aisle who recognize that additional resources are critical to the FDA’s success.”

One of the key themes stressed by Congress is FDA accountability, noting that the agency has received several large increases. Specifically, the FDA received a $145M increase and a supplemental appropriation of $150M in FY 08. With the $325M total in the FY 09 omnibus, the FDA will have been provided with $620M in new monies over the last 16 months.

“Given the recent nationwide outbreak and recall linked to peanut products, the Congress’ action is clearly warranted,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, an Alliance Board member and Food Safety Director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “But accountability matters. We will work with Congress and FDA to ensure these funds are spent both effectively and efficiently.”

“FDA will continue to need large annual increases in order to meet its responsibilities and fulfill its commitment to the American people,” said Daniel Perry, an Alliance Board member and Executive Director of the Alliance for Aging Research. “To justify the needed monies, FDA must show good stewardship over the monies it has received since December 2007.”

The Alliance for a Stronger FDA is a coalition of 180 members, including consumer, patient, professional and research groups, industry, trade associations, and individuals who support increased appropriated funding for FDA. The Alliance, now in its third year, is the only multi-stakeholder group that advocates for increasing resources at FDA to match the agency’s responsibilities. More information about the Alliance can be found at http://www.StrengthenFDA.org.