More FDA funding needed

Cappic AstraZeneca joins the Alliance for a Stronger FDA in expressing concern with the level of funding for the US Food and Drug Administration in legislation being considered by Congress:

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2011 – The Alliance for a Stronger FDA expressed disappointment with the proposed funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration contained in legislation being considered later today by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Under the proposed bill, FDA funding would be cut by $285 million from its FY 11 level of $2.457 billion.

We strongly agree, as a member of the Alliance and a biopharmaceutical company that supports a well-funded regulator overseeing our industry.

“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. “Now is not the time to cut the FDA, even with economic pressures to decrease the deficit. A strong FDA is welcomed by the industries it oversees and spurs innovation that drives our economy.”

As the Alliance has previously noted, a strong FDA supports the economy. Additionally, increased funding of the agency is vital if the FDA is to protect patient health as it manages a growing list of complex public health responsibilities.

That is why AstraZeneca has urging the Obama Administration to give the FDA a 20 percent increase for the fiscal year 2012 budget.

This will help the nation support a strong FDA that is:

1. Well-funded so it has the resources to do the best job in a reasonable timeframe.

2. Scientifically world-class with the appropriate scientific, clinical expertise in relevant fields.

3. Independent, and confident to make benefit/risk assessments based on the science and patient
need alone.

4. Clear in its communication, and consistent in the application of its principles.

By meeting these four benchmarks, the agency will provide the regulatory framework to encourage innovation while looking out for patients.

– By Tony Jewell