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Media Release: November 25, 2008

ALLIANCE URGES PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR FDA

Broad Stakeholder Coalition Also Requests Speedy Appointment of New FDA Commissioner

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 25, 2008 — The Alliance for a Stronger FDA today urged President-Elect Obama to fulfill his campaign commitment of fully-funding the FDA. The group also encouraged a speedy nomination of the next FDA Commissioner. The requests were contained in a letter transmitted to the incoming President’s transition team.

“The incoming Administration’s commitment to public health is welcomed and we expect to see this reflected in increased funding for the vital mission of the Food and Drug Administration,” said Wayne Pines, President of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. “In addition, our Alliance believes the rapid nomination of the next FDA Commissioner is critical to moving the agency forward to meeting its public health and consumer protection responsibilities.”

The Alliance request for appropriated monies for FDA for Fiscal Year 2010 is $2.25 billion, an increase of $386 million. This represents more than a 20% increase over the FY 09 baseline and reflects a 30% to 40% increase over the FY 08 baseline (see table on page 2). These amounts are needed to respond to the agency’s growing global commitments, need for expanded inspection staff, development of better safety databases and strengthening product review and safety monitoring.

“FDA is a small agency with very large responsibilities,” said Diane Dorman, Vice President for Public Policy at the National Organization for Rare Disorders and an Alliance Board member. “We look forward to working with the new Administration to ensure that President-Elect Obama’s commitment to strengthening the FDA is fulfilled.”

Increased FDA funding was an explicit commitment of then-Presidential candidate Obama during the 2008 election (Source: YourCandidatesYourHealth.org):

Senator Obama: The Food and Drug Administration is a critical protector of our food supply, and assures our medicines are safe and effective. It regulates a full quarter of the American economy. Yet the FDA is badly underfunded for its responsibilities. As our economy brings a rising tide of imported products, the FDA urgently needs expert staff and technology to more rigorously inspect imported food, drugs, and other products like pet food ….

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 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. More information about the Alliance can be found at http://www.StrengthenFDA.org.