Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is targeted to receive a funding increase in President Bush's proposed budget for fiscal year 2009, the funds may not be enough to ensure that the agency has the resources it needs to effectively monitor drug safety.

Overall, the President's budget freezes spending increases for a majority of federal programs. The FDA looks to gain modest increases, with a proposed funding bump of $130 million. While this appears to be a significant increase, only around $50 million would come from appropriations. The remainder would come from new user fees on generic drugs, generic animal drugs, reinspection and food and animal feed export certification.

ASHP believes that the FDA is hindered in carrying out its public health mission due to a lack of resources. The Society is an active member of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, a broad group of patient groups, consumer advocates, biomedical research advocates, health professionals and industry officials, who work to assure the FDA has sufficient resources to protect patients and consumers.

The House Oversight Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee recently held a hearing to discuss the FDA's Science Board Report completed in late 2007 that indicated significant deficiencies within FDA, primarily in the areas of IT and science. While the report gave no specific recommendation of increased funds to FDA, supporters of the issue have used the results as evidence that the agency needs more resources.

Click here to read ASHP's comments to the FDA Science Board

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists