Reps. Henry A. Waxman, John D. Dingell, Bart Stupak, and Frank Pallone, Jr., called on members of one of FDAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own advisory committees to provide Congress with its assessment of the resources needed to remedy the crisis at the agency stemming from years of chronic underfunding.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are deeply concerned that the budget submitted by the President today is grossly inadequate to meet the many challenges at FDA as identified by the Science Board. It barely covers the cost of inflation and continues the trend of the inadequate budgets of previous years that have led to the current crisis at the agency,Ã¢â‚¬Â said the members in a letter sent yesterday to the former head of the Science BoardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Subcommittee on Science and Technology, Gail Cassell. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We want to ensure that funding for FDA is sufficient to permit the agency to fulfill its many regulatory responsibilities.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Science Board recently released a report concluding that FDAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s scientific capacity has been so eroded that it can no longer fulfill a frightening number of critical regulatory and public health responsibilities. The report found that American lives are now at risk as a result of years of starving FDA of the resources necessary to maintain its scientific and regulatory strength.
The members requested that the Subcommittee on Science and Technology of the Science Board assess whether the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Fiscal Year 2009 FDA Budget will provide the resources needed to correct the serious deficiencies noted in the report. In addition, the members further requested that the Subcommittee provide the specific funding levels that would be necessary to address the Science BoardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s concerns.