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Media Release, May 24, 2011

FDA CANNOT FULFILL ITS MISSION UNDER PROPOSED FY 12 HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL

Alliance for a Stronger FDA Deeply Concerned by Congressional Subcommittee Action

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2011 – The Alliance for a Stronger FDA expressed disappointment with the proposed funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration contained in legislation being considered later today by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Under the proposed bill, FDA funding would be cut by $285 million from its FY 11 level of $2.457 billion.

“We are deeply concerned by the House subcommittee’s proposed FY 12 appropriation for FDA,” said Nancy Bradish Myers, President of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and President of Catalyst Healthcare Consulting. “We will continue to make our case to Congress that an adequately funded FDA is essential for patients, consumers and industry.”

“While we are mindful of the need to reduce our nation’s budget deficit, FDA must continue to be a national priority so that we can advance medical progress, improve patients’ lives, and assure Americans have a safe food supply,” added Margaret Anderson, Vice President of the Alliance and Executive Director of FasterCures.

The House subcommittee’s proposed FDA funding level for FY 12 is 11.5% below the FY 11 funding levels set last month. At a time when FDA’s workload is increasing, this would mean 500 to 1000 fewer employees in the next fiscal year.

FDA oversees nearly 25% of all consumer spending. The economic impact of the industries and products the agency oversees is enormous — and has the potential to lead growth in our economy and job development. (Please see the Alliance’s white paper on the economic impact of FDA).

“FDA is a pre-eminent public health agency that assures that our food supply is safe and that drugs, vaccines and medical devices are safe and effective,” said Christopher Waldrop, an Alliance Board Member and Director of the Consumer Federation of America’s Food Policy Institute. “Multiple times every day, Americans use products for which FDA has oversight responsibilities. There is no back-up if the agency isn’t there.”

“FDA’s job is much like national defense — essential to our nation’s well-being — and providing protection that is too often taken for granted until a crisis occurs,” said Richard Buckley, an Alliance Board Member and Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, AstraZeneca. “Now is not the time to cut the FDA, even with economic pressures to decrease the deficit. A strong FDA is welcomed by the industries it oversees and spurs innovation that drives our economy.”

“FDA has been severely underfunded for decades. Funding is needed to catch up with globalization and the increasing complexity of science,” said Kasey Thompson, PharmD, an Alliance Board Member and Vice President, Office of Policy, Planning, and Communications, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. “It is equally important to appreciate how much the FDA-regulated industries are growing, which requires more FDA resources to keep up.”

The Alliance’s 180 members — comprised of consumer, patient, professional and research groups, companies, trade associations, and individuals — represent millions of Americans who support increased appropriated funding for FDA.  More information about the Alliance can be found at www.StrengthenFDA.org.