FDA Among ‘Biggest Winners’ in Bush’s FY 2005 Budget Proposal, Washington Post Reports
The FDA, which will receive an almost 9% funding increase to boost food safety programs and expand construction of a new campus, is among the "biggest winners" in President Bush's budget proposal for the fiscal year 2005, the Washington Post reports (Kaufman, Washington Post, 2/6). In Bush's $2.4 trillion budget proposal released Monday, discretionary funding for the FDA would increase by $109 million. Total outlays for the FDA would rise to $1.84 billion from $1.66 billion; some of the money would come from user fees paid for by drug and medical device companies. Bush's budget proposal also includes a $217 million, or 13%, increase in the FDA budget for reviewing medical devices (California Healthline, 2/3). About $65 million of the FDA's additional funding will be used to increase food import inspections; add laboratories to analyze food samples for biological, chemical and radiological agents; and increase coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, the Post reports. The budget calls for the agency to perform 97,000 food import inspections in FY 2005 -- an increase of more than 60% over FY 2004 and seven times more than were performed in 2001. Officials say the agency will add about 450 reviewers, inspectors and researchers in FY 2005. According to the Post, the budget also authorizes spending $20.6 million, together with $10 million in industry user fees, to move the agency's Center for Drug Review and Evaluation to a new location in April 2005. FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan said Bush's budget request "reflects the evolving challenges we face in carrying out our mission of advancing and protecting the public health," including "escalating" food safety and security challenges in the event of terrorist attacks. The FDA's counterterrorism funding increase is matched by "similarly large" increases for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food safety efforts, the Post reports. Bush Friday issued an executive order charging HHS, the USDA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new methods of protecting the U.S. food supply (Washington Post, 2/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.