FDA Takes a Proactive Approach to Improving its Oversight

FDA to spend $25 million to upgrade their review processes.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is upgrading the scientific tools they use to review prescription drugs, medical devices and to oversee food safety. According to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, her agency will spend $25 million next year to collect suggestions from scientists in academia, government and industry with the goal of approving new products faster and enhancing troubleshooting.  “Regulatory science can deliver better, more targeted therapies more quickly,” she said.

The FDA wants to pool resources on a variety of projects, including predicting the side effects of pharmaceuticals based on patients’ genetic codes; reduce or eliminate drug testing on animals; and prevent salmonella and other bacteria in the food supply.  Modernization is a constant theme at the FDA and the agency is working to keep up with the ever-evolving science behind the newest drugs, medical devices and even foods.  Unfortunately, federal funding at the FDA typically has not kept up with requests for budget increases.  This has resulted in user-fee programs where pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical device manufacturers pay to have their products reviewed.

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