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Media Release: September 7, 2011

FDA FUNDING INCREASED UNDER FY 12 SENATE APPROPRIATIONS BILL

Alliance for a Stronger FDA Urges House to Adopt Senate Funding Levels for FDA

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 7, 2011 – The Alliance for a Stronger FDA expressed support for the proposed funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration contained in legislation considered late today by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Under the proposed bill, FDA funding would be increased by about $50 million above its FY 11 level of $2.447 billion and about $335 million above the House proposed levels for FY 12.

“We are grateful for Senate leadership to assure that FDA has the funds to continue its mission,” said Nancy Bradish Myers, President of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and President of Catalyst Healthcare Consulting. “At a minimum, we urge the House to accept the Senate levels and we ask conferees to consider whether any additional funds can be made available.”

She added: “FDA’s growing responsibilities and resource needs are not diminished because federal spending is being reduced. Our nation is less safe and less healthy if FDA cannot excel at its mission.”

The Senate committee’s proposed FY 12 FDA funding level for FDA is about $50 million more than the FY 11 levels. Most of these additional monies are intended for use in implementing the new Food Safety Modernization Act, adopted by Congress in December 2010.

“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,” said Margaret Anderson, Vice President of the Alliance and Executive Director of FasterCures. “In spite of increased downward budgetary pressures, the Senate’s firm statement of support for the FDA is to be applauded.”

She added: “We are pleased with the Senate’s commitment to fund the new food safety law. We remain concerned that investment has not increased in the critical area of medical product development — the quality and safety of the drugs, vaccines and devices upon which patients rely.”

“We count on FDA to continue to make sure our foods are safe, regardless of origin,” said John Connelly, an Alliance Board Member and President of the National Fisheries Institute.  “As Americans enjoy more foods from overseas, the agency must invest several times more effort in import safety than it has in the recent past.”

On June 20, 2011, the FDA released a special report, entitled “Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality,” which documents the growth in imported products, including food, drugs, and medical devices.

“Multiple times every day, Americans use products for which FDA has oversight responsibilities,” said Christopher Waldrop, an Alliance Board Member and Director of the Consumer Federation of America’s Food Policy Institute. “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. “A strong FDA is welcomed by the industries it oversees and spurs innovation that drives our economy.”

As part of its critical public health mission, 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.)

The Alliance for a Stronger FDA’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.  The Alliance’s recent advocacy ads on behalf of FDA funding can be found at: https://fdaalliance.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/alliance_fda-ad1.pdf.

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