FDA's DTC Oversight Funding Would Increase Under House Committee Proposal

June 6, 2005

A House appropriations panel has doubled the proposed funding levels for the FDA's oversight of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising and provided an additional $5 million for the agency's drug-safety program.

The House Appropriations Committee passed a spending proposal recently that would give the FDA roughly $1.83 billion in fiscal 2006. The appropriations bill would boost the FDA's budget for monitoring DTC ads to $1.7 million from its current $890,000 level. The bill also would provide an additional $5 million to the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) for various drug safety priorities.

The lawmakers also approved an earlier request for $6.5 million for the FDA's Office of Drug Safety (ODS), bringing total proposed funding for ODS to $33 million. The additional ODS funding would be used to hire 25 new full-time equivalent employees, bringing total ODS staffing to 134 employees. The additional $5 million for CDER would not be earmarked to ODS, but would rather be used by CDER for overall safety efforts, including the hiring of additional scientists and doctors, according to an aide to a Democratic committee member. The additional funding for safety and DTC oversight was included at the insistence of Democratic committee members, the aide said.