It appears that the FDA Commissioner is playing an indirect game of "chicken" with Congress. Friday, Andrew von Eschenbach (photo) sent out a memo saying that 2,000 workers could get pink slips this week if Congress doesn't renew user fees for drugs and medical devices.
As you know, Congress is in the throes of negotiating an FDA-funding bill. The layoff notice sounds like the commissioner is following in the footsteps of those governors--or presidents--who threaten to shut out the lights if their budgets aren't approved. Nevertheless, there's likely to be plenty of nail-biting at FDA headquarters as a September 21 deadline for the funding measure approaches.
- read the Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)