A free thinker in the Heartland...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Now We Have Problems With FDA

Jeez, what goverment agency isn't broke? From the South Bend Tribune:

When scientific advisers urged the Food and Drug Administration in February to put a strong warning about suspected heart risks on attention deficit drugs taken by millions of children and adults, agency officials said more clinical evidence was needed.

Now, the FDA-funded study meant to authoritatively answer questions about the drugs for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder may be halted in midstream. The reason: the agency doesn't have the money to finish it.

The threat to the study, as disclosed in documents and interviews, stems from the chronic shortchanging of the nation's drug safety program. It is one symptom of a federal agency increasingly constrained by a budget that has failed to keep up with costs. This crunch is even more dire in the food division, which tries to keep tainted foodstuffs from supermarket shelves.

Ya know, if the Democrats do take over Congress I feel sorry for all that needs fixing in Washington!

Even as concerns grow, the agency has budgeted only $1.6 million for such safety studies of medications already on the market; and that sum is scheduled to drop to $900,000 in the coming year. Outside experts estimate the agency needs $20 million to $100 million a year to conduct such studies.

Recently, three former secretaries of Health and Human Services sounded a public alarm about what they see as a dangerous squeeze on the overall FDA budget. Tommy Thompson, who served in President Bush's first term; Donna Shalala, who served under President Clinton; and Louis Sullivan, who served under President George H.W. Bush, joined consumer and industry groups calling on the administration to substantially boost -- and perhaps even double -- the agency's $1.5 billion annual budget, which has seen only modest increases in recent years.

You can read more about it at the South Bend Tribune.