The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could get a big budget boost this year, with the president requesting $4.3 billion, more than a third of it from regulatory fees paid by companies. That total is more than $1 billion higher than the 2010 budget figure. FDA has planned a number of new initiatives and is enjoying expanded authority in areas like food safety and tobacco control. But despite an outwardly rosy picture, the agency still doesn't have the cash in hand it needs to fulfill an expanded mandate.
2012 may or may not be the year when FDA gets to flex some new muscles. Among other things, the president is requesting $324 million for a new food safety initiative, to allow FDA to implement the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act, designed to reduce food-borne disease. FDA also wants to put $49 million into strengthening regulatory science, for example by finding better ways to understand drug toxicity.
A continuing resolution just passed by appropriators in the House of Representatives provides only $3.3 billion for FDA's 2011 budget—far short of the Administration's 2012 objective—suggesting that it may be difficult to find common ground.
See our complete coverage of Budget 2012 .