FDA badly needs more money, staff

It seems that hardly a week goes by without reports of problems at the FDA. And this week is no exception. According to a subcommittee of the Science Board, an independent advisory group, a number of problems plague the FDA. Imports, food inspection, drug manufacturing, and drug development systems within the FDA all need to be overhauled, according to the group's findings. The agency is stretched too thin and it's endangering public health.

"Without a substantial increase in resources, the agency is powerless to improve its performance, will fall further behind, and will be unable to meet either the mandates of Congress or the expectations of the American public," the Science Board was quoted as saying in the Washington Post. "This will damage not only the health of the population of the U.S., but also the health of our economy." The panel recommended modernizing the FDA's computer systems, increasing the agency's funding and increasing participation of scientific leaders. Andrew Von Eschenbach requested the evaluation a year ago.

This year the FDA has endured serious criticism for a number of blunders, including drug safety, food inspection and pet food contamination. It's clearly under-staffed and under-funded, and these issues are likely to continue and worsen if the necessary changes aren't made.

- see this Washington Post article

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