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Monday
Feb142011

FDA Aims to Invest in Foodborne Illness Prevention, Product Safety 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Monday announced plans to request a $4.3 billion budget as part of President Obama's FY 2012 budget.  The agency's request reflects a 33-percent increase over its FY 2010 budget and is intended to "protect and promote the public health."

"FDA protects and promotes the health of all Americans through every stage of life," Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs, said in a statement. "The breadth of the mandate means that FDA responsibilities continue to grow. The new budget contains new resources so that FDA can fulfill its growing responsibilities to the American Public."

The FDA proposed four initiatives in addition to its budget requests:

1. Transforming Food Safety and Nutrition ($324 million) -- meant to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act.

2. Advancing Medical Countermeasures ($70 million) -- for the development of medical countermeasures to chemical, biological or nuclear national security threats.

3. Protecting Patients Initiative ($124 million) -- to develop "a pathway for approving biosimilars."  Biosimilars are biological drugs that are highly similar to, but without clinically meaningful differences with, an FDA-approved reference biological product.  The FDA suggests that biosimilars can offer significant savings to both federal and private sector health care systems.

4. Regulatory Science and Facilities ($49 million) -- aimed at employing technological and scientific advancements to improve the review and approval process for products.

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ABC News Radio