Alliance urges Congress to up FDA budget by 20%

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The FDA Alliance, an industry-supported group formed to increase public funding of the FDA, says Congress should raise President Bush’s FY 2008 budget request for the agency by 20% to an appropriation of $2 billion.

This amount, the Alliance says, would restore the agency to the operational capabilities it had in FY 2003 and enable it carry out the public health and safety program initiatives funded by Congress since then.

The budget request being considered on Capitol Hill seeks $1.64 billion for the FDA, not counting $450 million in user fees paid by industry. The FDA Alliance’s $2 billion recommendation is in addition to user fees.

According to Alliance documents, much of the historic underfunding of the FDA can be attributed to the failure to fund the personnel costs required to fulfill the agency’s sweeping mission, which consume 83% of its total budget.

“Currently, Congress appropriates just $4.94 per American per year (excluding user fees) to the FDA,” the documents say. “At $2 billion in appropriated funds (budget authority) for FY08, this would still represent only $6.67 per American being spent on helping FDA to keep pace with its vital missions and services.”

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