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.