Alliance's sobering budget analysis

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FDA's drugs, biologics and medical devices programs are getting the shaft under the Obama administration's proposed FY 2011 budget request, according to an analysis by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

While the agency's new budget request seeks a 6% or $147 million increase in its appropriation, CDER and Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research would only be allotted a $28 million (4%) increase and 66 new positions, whereas devices would be given an $11 million increase (less than 4%) and 28 new positions.

“This is less than the cost of pay increases,” the group argues. “Other items that will increase this year (rent, information technology, training, travel) will need to come from existing program dollars.” The Alliance says the major problem with FDA's budget is that about 80% of the agency's costs each year are salary and people-related costs for benefits, rent, IT services, travel and training.

“If the FDA's appropriated budget does not grow by at least inflation each year, then staff levels decrease. This is what was happening for most years between 1994 and 2007. For example, after 9/11 the agency got significant new monies to hire new inspectors to decrease the risks of agro- and bio-terror. Within five years, this increase in the FDA field force had disappeared and the number of inspectors was about where it had been before the new
monies.”
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