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Compliance In Focus
Posted by John Lehmann on Mon, Apr 29, 2013

Is the FDA a Bargain for Taxpayers?

I ran across this article on Yahoo.com caught our eye.  As taxpayers and a CRO that activelyIs the FDA a Bargain for Taxpayers? interfaces with the FDA, I thought this would be an excellent blog topic and discussion generator.  Given the projected impact of the sequester, I thought it was interesting that FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg recently asked Congress for more funding to help:

  • Improve Food Safety
  • Police Imports
  • Develop Counter Measure Against Chemical and Biological Threats

She recently told a Senate subcommittee that the agency is doing its best to contain cost by cutting back on travel and training.  The sequester will cut funding to the agency by $269 million.  It’s important to note that the FDA gets some of its funding from taxpayers, but users fees agreed with drug companies help fund the agency.

To the surprise of many, the sequester’s mandatory cuts to federal agencies include withholding $83 million in users fees.  Obviously, Hamburg would like to see user fees being exempt from the sequester.  The agency’s proposed budget for 2014 would increase $821 million to $4.7 billion over 2012.  The 2013 budget has yet to be finalized.

In Senate testimony, Commissioner Hamburg stressed that the FDA is a true bargain when compared to other federal agencies.  “American each pay about $8 a year for FDA appropriations.” For about 2 cents a day, she said, “Americans get an extraordinary array of public health benefits.”

Hamburg indicates that the agency is facing increasing challenges and that the agency must continue to transform itself so it continues to fulfill its promise to American citizens.

We have a couple questions that we would like your feedback on.  First, what are your thoughts on the sequester and its impact on the FDA budget?  Next, do you believe the FDA is a bargain for American citizens?  We look  forward to everyone’s feedback.

Photo Credits: marcospozo

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Topics: Margaret Hamburg, Taxpayers, FDA

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