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REP. WAXMAN's AIDS BILL WOULD PROVIDE FDA WITH 50 ADDITIONAL RESEARCH STAFFERS

Executive Summary

FDA would be provided with an additional 50 staffers to work on AIDS-specific biomedical and epidemiological research activities at the agency under a bill sponsored by Rep. Waxman (D-Calif.). The legislation (HR 5142) authorizes a total of 775 full-time staff positions in the Administration. The National Institutes of Health would receive an increase of 300 new AIDS staffers under the bill, and the Centers for Disease Control would add 350 AIDS staffers. HR 5142 is a combination of three separate pieces of AIDS-related legislation: the AIDS Counseling and Testing Act of 1988 (HR 3071 and HR 4757) and the AIDS Research Act of 1988 (HR4850). The bill is expected to be brought to the House floor during the week of Sept. 12. The bill leaves it to the various agency heads to determine the AIDS projects to which the new staffers will be assigned. However, the bill stipulates that "special emphasis is given to the establishment and coordination of programs to identify and develop potential therapeutic and prophylactic agents to prevent or forestall the development of the disease and to treat both accompanying illnesses and the underlying immune system disorder. The measure also authorizes $ 400 mil., half in federal grants and half in the form of block grants to states, to provide voluntary counseling and testing to high-risk and low-income populations.

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