On February 4, 2008, the Bush administration released its proposed budget recommendations for funding all federal agencies in fiscal year 2009. Under this proposal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would receive a 2.9% overall increase in funding this year.
While at first glance that may seem like a boon for the FDA, especially in light of the fact that other agencies received significant reductions, a 2.9% increase will not allow the FDA to even sustain its current staff and program levels.
Furthermore, major structural and operational issues at FDA have been highlighted in recent months by various sources, including the Institute of Medicine and the FDA Science Advisory Board. These widely publicized reports have shown that many of the deficiencies are inextricably linked to a lack of funding for the agency. Such deficiencies have put the public’s health in jeopardy, and we believe they have limited the Agency’s ability to evaluate innovative therapies that have the potential to better treat or cure some of the most costly age-related diseases. For this reason, we support the Alliance for a Stronger FDA’s call to Congress for $2.1 billion in appropriations for FY 2009, an increase of approximately $380 million over the president’s budget request.