Sep 23, 2022 - Health

Deal reached to renew funding for key FDA programs

Sen. Richard Burr speaks to Sen. Patty Murray before a Senate committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 on Jan. 11. Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/AFP

Senate and House health committee leaders on Thursday reached an agreement to renew programs that fund key Food and Drug Administration programs for another five years.

Why it matters: Without congressional action by the end of the month, the FDA would have started sending out furlough notices to staff and slowed down critical work like drug approvals.

  • The deal covers user fees that industries pay to fund drug, device and other product evaluations and is due to be attached to a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded into December.

Details: The agreement tracks with Republicans' wishes for a "clean" bill without policy changes that would have increased FDA oversight of dietary supplements, cosmetics, infant formula and lab-developed tests, and would have tweaked a controversial fast-track drug approval process.

The big picture: Those items might have to wait until the next Congress, assuming Democrats and Republicans can find common ground.

Don't forget: A 2019 Pew Charitable Trusts survey found strong public support for requiring supplement manufacturers to give the FDA a list of products they make and their ingredients.

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