Bush budget boosts funding for FDA Office of Drug Safety

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The Bush administration proposed yesterday a 24 percent increase in funding for the FDA's Office of Drug Safety.
The additional $6.5 million would be used in part to hire 25 more employees at the Office of Drug Safety, the FDA's chief financial officer Kathy Heuer said in a Reuters report. The office currently has 109 employees.
About $1.5 million of the money would come from the congressionally mandated industry user fees paid by pharma companies in exchange for faster reviews of products. Heuer said this money would be used to hire five of the new reviewers.
The proposed increase in funding is part of President Bush's budget for fiscal year 2006, which begins Oct. 1.
The budget plan also said the added safety office money would fund access to a range of databases to help scientists identify potential problems with prescription drugs.
In total, the FDA's budget would increase by $81 million to $1.9 billion under the Bush budget. Approximately $381 million would come from industry user fees.
"The White House recognizes the critical nature of the FDA's work and our need for adequate resources," said FDA acting commissioner Lester Crawford about the budget increase.
The FDA would also receive an increase of $12 million for medical device reviews for a total of $289 million, under the budget plan. 
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