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Media Release: February 4, 2008


FDA’s FY 2009 Budget Continues Long History of Inadequate Resources for Consumer Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 4, 2008 — The Alliance for a Stronger FDA said today that it is “disappointed” at the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as proposed by the Administration, calling instead for “budget levels that strengthen the agency and reflect the realities documented by a number of recent assessments.”

The Alliance is an organization with more than 170 members, including consumer, patient, professional and research groups; industry trade associations; and individuals who support increased Congressional funding for FDA.  The Alliance was formed earlier this year with the merger of the FDA Alliance and the Coalition for a Stronger FDA.

“Three independent reviews, including the FDA’s own Science Board, have determined the FDA is in critical need of significant new resources,” said Alliance spokesperson William Hubbard, a former Deputy Commissioner at FDA. “The amount in the Administration’s proposed budget is not only inadequate, it is barely half of what FDA needs just to keep pace with inflation.”

“The FDA’s ability to fulfill its mission could be in serious jeopardy if additional increases aren’t enacted.  This proposed budget would likely force the agency into further staff decreases, at a time when it is urgent to increase staff,” Hubbard said.

The Alliance for a Stronger FDA advocates that FDA’s appropriated budget for FY 2009 be $2.1 billion, which will provide resources for it to start to rebuild its infrastructure and to fund its programs to assure the safety of foods and cosmetics and the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices. This is an increase of about $380 million, seven times the Administration request, but less than 20% above the current year’s appropriation.

“FDA can’t improve its science, prepare for the future, or protect American consumers without significant additional resources,” said Don Kennedy, PhD, former FDA commissioner and editor-in-chief of Science. “The Administration and Congress are starting now on the FDA’s FY 2009 budget and must fix this critical problem.”

“FDA’s employees do a remarkable job to protect the public health, despite the significant lack of resources,” added Diane Dorman, an Alliance board member and Vice President of the National Organization for Rare Disorders. “FDA can’t be the gold standard if we don’t provide the funding that is urgently needed to improve inspections here and overseas, ensure safe foods and drugs, and finally bring the FDA’s technological infrastructure up to 21st century standards.”

About the Alliance for a Stronger FDA: In response to the unmet resource needs of the FDA and the threat this poses to America’s health, safety and commerce, the Alliance for a Stronger FDA was formed to educate and advocate about the importance of FDA and the need for better funding. The Alliance has more than 170 members, including consumer and patient groups, professional organizations, trade associations, companies and individuals.

For more information, e-mail Ladd Wiley, Executive Director, or Steven Grossman, Deputy Executive Director.