1:50 PM
 | 
Jan 11, 2019
 |  BC Extra  |  Politics & Policy

House bill hints FDA may get a budget boost after all

A budget bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday to fund agriculture, rural development and FDA includes an increase in FDA funding for FY19, suggesting a resolution to the budget stalemate may not imperil FDA's plans for a broad expansion of activities in 2019 when the impasse is resolved.

H.R. 265 earmarks a $159 million increase for FDA in FY19, for a total budget of $2.96 billion. While the increase is in line with a bipartisan appropriations bill that passed the Senate last August, it is only about half of the $307 million boost approved by the House last year and even further below the $400 million increase the Trump administration had requested.

The bill will have to next pass through the Senate but progress will likely be stalled until the government shutdown is resolved.

One resolution to the impasse could involve Congress continuing FY18 funding levels through FY19, in which case FDA would not receive the funding boost that the House, Senate and President Donald Trump have all agreed it should (see "Budget Woes may Linger at FDA").

FDA has developed plans to use an increase in FY19 funding to accelerate the transition to advanced manufacturing technologies for drugs, vaccines and cell therapies; fund natural history databases to accelerate the development of medicines for rare diseases; and streamline reviews of generics (see "FDA’s Bigger Piggy Bank").

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