FDA reforms lack cash backup

Everyone's favorite shooting target, the FDA, will continue to come under fire in 2008. Congress may have revamped the agency, but legislators didn't address its primary problem--funding--at least not in any material way. Congress gave the agency $1.73 billion for fiscal 2008, just $145 million over 2007's funding level. That's far short of the double-or-nothing called for by many FDA critics and friends alike.

You'll recall that in September, legislators passed a sweeping FDA overhaul, giving the agency power to order recalls, requiring drug makers to disclose clinical trial data, incentivizing studies of off-patent meds and meds for kids, and more. Two months later, a committee of FDA advisors said the agency is ill-equipped to deal with today's drug industry. Science is lacking, staff is lacking, money is lacking. Unless FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach wins a few lotteries, we'll expect more of the same.

- here's the article about the FDA's 2008 funding
- read about the FDA reauthorization bill
- get more on the FDA's shortfalls