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Media Release: September 29, 2008

FDA FUNDING WILL INCREASE IN TOUGH BUDGET YEAR

Continuing Resolution Reflects House/Senate/Administration Concerns for FDA in FY 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 29, 2008 — The Alliance for a Stronger FDA applauded Congressional actions to assure increased funding for FDA in fiscal year 2009. Under the Continuing Resolution (CR), FDA will be able to spend at a higher rate in FY 2009 than it did in the current fiscal year. The CR was passed by the House last Wednesday and by the Senate on Saturday.

“We expect FDA to have nearly $300 million more to spend in FY 09, compared to the amount it actually has spent in FY 08,” said Wayne Pines, President of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. “Our Alliance has advocated for funding for FDA that will enable it to retain its standing as the ‘gold standard’ of consumer protection, and to regain the confidence of the American public.”

Under the Continuing Resolution, FDA will be allowed to count supplemental funding received on July 1 as part of its FY 2008 base. The effect is to provide the agency with about $150 million extra in FY 2009, assuming the CR level extends for the entire fiscal year. In addition, the supplemental funds are available until September 30, 2009 and are largely unspent, providing an additional $150 million to strengthen the agency. Thus, half of the new money will come from Congress’ decision to calculate the FY 09 CR base at a higher level. The other half would be from the FY 08 supplemental appropriation monies.

“We consider this a significant step in strengthening FDA,” said Diane Dorman of the National Organization for Rare Disorders and a director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. “We are grateful to Members of Congress and staff who once again pulled FDA out of the hundreds of government programs and gave special consideration to its needs.”

“For all but a handful of government programs, the Continuing Resolution sets spending levels at the prior year’s funding level,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and a director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. “The House, the Senate and the Administration all previously acknowledged that FDA needed considerably more money. The American people are the winners in the decision to provide this additional funding.”

Increased FDA funding is also an explicit commitment of both Presidential candidates (Source: YourCandidatesYourHealth.org):

Senator McCain: “I strongly support FDA funding. We need to ensure that FDA has the proper resources to maintain its duty as the guardians of our nation’s drug and food supply in an era of growing global economy. FDA can also play an important role in promoting greater market competition, especially in drug sector, by having more streamlined processes for drug approval. Current funding levels for FDA are not keeping pace with accelerated drug and device creation or the increasing globalization of food supplies and should be increased.”

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 and trade associations, and individuals. Our common purpose is support for increased appropriated 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.

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