The Food and Drug Administration is a major exception to the Obama administration’s freeze on discretionary spending in the 2011 budget.
Overall, the FDA budget could grow by as much as 23 percent, to just over $4 billion. But this will require Congress to authorize more than a quarter-billion dollars of new fees on food facilities and generic drug makers.
The increase is a testament to the FDA’s increasingly complex responsibilities, as well as a perception that the agency has been underfunded for many years. The increased spending would allow the FDA to add 1,200 jobs, expanding its workforce by 10 percent.
Key boosts in spending would include $318 million to improve food safety, $215 million for anti-smoking programs and $100 million to improve the safety of drugs and medical devices.
More than one-third of the 2011 budget would come from user fees paid by businesses that make payments for FDA services such as evaluating new applications for drugs and medical devices.