Based: Washington, DC
Budget: $3.2 billion
Comissioner: Margaret Hamburg

Description: The U S. FDA is the world's premier scientific, regulatory, and public health agency. Its jurisdiction encompasses most food products (other than meat and poultry), human and animal drugs, therapeutic agents of biological origin, medical devices, radiation-emitting products for consumer, medical, and occupational use, cosmetics, and animal feed. The agency grew from a single chemist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1862 to a staff of approximately 8,000 employees in 2006. About one-third of the agency's employees are stationed outside of the Washington, D. C. area, staffing over 150 field offices and laboratories. The FDA also monitors the manufacture, import, transport, storage, and sale of about $1 trillion worth of products annually at a cost to taxpayers of about $3 per person.

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FDA

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

FDA adds PML death scenario to Tecfidera label

When Biogen Idec reported last month that a patient taking its hot multiple sclerosis pill Tecfidera had developed a rare brain infection and died, the drugmaker said it believed the safety profile of the drug remained solid. Perhaps so, but the FDA has decided the death was important enough to add a description of it on Tecfidera labels.

Congress considering bill to limit FDA regulation of EHRs, clinical decision support software

A bill circulating the halls of Congress would limit the FDA's oversight of electronic health records and clinical decision support software, but may not have much practical effect since the agency limited its role in the regulation of software in a June draft guidance.

UPDATED: Covidien gets 510(k) for peripheral balloon catheter aimed at hemodialysis patients

Covidien today announced FDA 510(k) clearance for its Fortrex percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon catheter, designed to maintain arteriovenous access in hemodialysis patients suffering from chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal failure.

FDA cracks down on power morcellator devices in updated safety guidance

Amid growing backlash over tools used in minimally invasive gynecological procedures, the FDA is cracking down on the devices in updated safety guidance.

FDA delays UDI labeling requirements by two years for some orthopedic devices

The FDA originally proposed requiring implantable medical devices to bear a unique device identification code on their surface. But industry protested that part of the proposed rule, so the agency ultimately opted to rely on packaging as the surface for UDIs. However, some orthopedics are removed from their packaging well before surgery or implantation, forcing the FDA to make a change on the fly.

Doc coughs up $2M for using unapproved Avastin on his cancer patients

A U.S. oncologist who thought he was getting a great deal on drugs that were almost the same thing as Avastin has found they will cost him an extra $2 million and a federal misdemeanor conviction.

UPDATED: Go-go execs at Gilead nab an FDA priority review voucher for $125M

The market price of a priority review voucher at the FDA just doubled. Canada's Knight Therapeutics has auctioned off its voucher--which can be turned in to the FDA in exchange for a regulatory shortcut on a drug decision--for $125 million to Gilead, one of the most aggressive developers in the industry.

FDA to more than double staff in China as visa issues appear resolved

The FDA is extending its tentacles deeper into China, which exported medical devices worth $3.5 billion to the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Getting more FDA inspectors in China on Hamburg's agenda for trip to China

For nearly two years, efforts by the FDA to expand its oversight of Chinese pharmaceuticals manufactured for the U.S. market have been thwarted, an issue FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg hopes to resolve during a visit there this week to meet with Chinese and other global regulators.

FDA Commissioner to talk drug safety with top Chinese officials

While in China for the International Summit of Heads of Medicines Regulatory Agencies, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will meet with top Chinese regulatory officials about working cooperatively on drug and food safety.