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Media Release: June 19, 2012

ALLIANCE FOR A STRONGER FDA URGES CONGRESS: PROVIDE ADDITIONAL FUNDING INCREASES TO SUPPORT FDA

FDA’s FY 13 Funding for Salaries and Expenses Would Decrease About $16 Million Under the House Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2012 — Given the severe budget constraints under which the House appropriations subcommittees are operating, the Alliance for a Stronger FDA expressed appreciation for the House Appropriations Committee’s support of FY 13 funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but also acknowledged disappointment that increased funding was not provided, saying “inadequate funding for the FDA has real and immediate consequences as it jeopardizes the public health.”

Under the proposed legislation adopted by the House Appropriations Committee this morning, FDA’s appropriated funding would be decreased by about $16 million below its FY 12 funding level of $2.497 billion for salaries and expenses. In addition, the House chose not to fund monies that support building and facilities repair.

“In this year of austerity, we appreciate the pressure under which the House is operating. However, FDA’s growing responsibilities and resource needs are not diminished because federal spending is being reduced.” said Margaret Anderson, President of the Alliance and Executive Director of FasterCures. “With no other agency as fallback, we believe that FDA’s funding should be increased to reflect the agency’s vast responsibilities and increased workload. We need a strong FDA.”

She added: “While the bottom-line funding for FDA is less than needed, we concur with the Committee’s decision to fund the Commissioner’s initiatives to advance food safety and to improve the safety of imports from China.”

” The House subcommittee’s position reflects a significant change from a year ago when it proposed a substantial cut in FDA funding. We appreciate the efforts of Chairman Jack Kingston and Ranking Member Sam Farr in re-evaluating the importance of FDA,” added Diane Dorman, Vice President of the Alliance and Vice President for Policy at the National Organization for Rare Disorders. “Nonetheless, the FDA mission is expanding and the agency is providing services and protections that Americans value.”

Dorman noted that FDA not only protects and advances the public health, but also provides an economic benefit to the US.  The importance of FDA and its regulated industry to the American economy is detailed in the Alliance’s white paper: FDA: A Cornerstone of America’s Economic Future.

During the committee mark-up, Representative Rosa DeLauro offered an amendment to add $50 million to fund food safety programs, which failed on a roll call vote.  There appears to be continued support for increased funding of food safety programs, but the opposition centered on the amount of the increase and whether it was offset by cuts elsewhere in the bill. The Alliance is “hopeful that some agreement can be reached to add more FDA funding before he bill is considered on the House floor.”

The Alliance’s 200 members are comprised of consumer, patient, professional and research groups, companies, trade associations, and individuals who support increased appropriated funding for FDA.  The Alliance 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 www.StrengthenFDA.org.