FDA Looks Like a Winner in Federal Budget Competition

Somebody up there likes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Specifically, someone in the White House. A quick review of President Trump’s proposed 2021 federal budget released earlier this week shows FDA as one of the few non-defense “winners” in the annual battle for government funds.

While even the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would lose some relative financial support from the feds, President Trump’s “A Budget for America’s Future” requests an increase of 4.5% for the FDA while cutting most other non-defense spending.

Overall, the $6.2 billion FDA budget request eclipses the fiscal year (FY) 2020 enacted budget, and includes $3.3 billion in appropriations and $2.9 billion in user fees. By comparison, HHS, the FDA’s parent, would be hit with a 10% across-the-board cut under the current budget request.

“The FY2021 Budget will allow FDA to continue to deliver high-impact results that help Americans every day,” agency Chairman Stephen Hahn said in the FDA’s budget proposal document.

Hahn also took the opportunity to brag a bit on the agency, noting it had a “banner year in terms of medical product approvals.” FDA approved 48 new drugs, six new biologics, 935 generic drugs, 10 new biosimilars, and 71 new devices in 2019, he said.

HHS is hoping to hold onto its fledgling knowledge management system and medical device portal, seeking an increase of $18 million to continue the projects.

“This investment would allow FDA to transform the agency’s premarket review and postmarket surveillance programs, and shorten review cycles without compromising patient safety, quickly identify and address safety signals and cyber vulnerabilities, and spur the development of innovative, safer, more effective devices,” HHS said.

Author: Michael Causey