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Scott Kappes
Scott Kappes
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Bush Requests Increased FDA Funding

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The White House has increased its budget request for the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration by a whopping $275 million. The request comes on
the heals of a rough year for the FDA that was capped off by the recall of the
popular blood thinner Heparin, after it was discovered that the product had
been contaminated somewhere in the Chinese supply line. The agency’s
commissioner Andrew von Eschenbauch told Congress in a meeting earlier this
year that more funding was need to ensure the safety of medications in an
increasingly international supply chain.

The money would augment $2.4 billion previously sought by
President George
W. Bush
for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, said U.S. Health and Human
Services Secretary Michael
Leavitt
in a conference call with reporters yesterday. More resources are
needed to police food, drugs and medical devices, Leavitt said.

The additional funding would allow the FDA to conduct a
minimum of 1,000 additional foreign plant inspections and over 1,000 additional
domestic inspections as well. Over the next several years the market for
pharmaceutical compounds will become even more dependent on foreign markets and
additional funding for the FDA is a necessary step to ensure the safety of the
medication being administered to millions of Americans each year.