FDA FY 1989 APPROPRIATIONS OF $ 531.4 MIL. PROVIDED IN COMPROMISE REACHED BY HOUSE/SENATE CONFEREES AND PASSED BY BOTH CHAMBERS; NO BUDGET CUTS INCLUDED
FDA fiscal 1989 appropriations of $ 531.4 mil. are provided in a compromise reached by House and Senate conferees for Agriculture appropriations. The conference report was passed by House on Sept. 29, and by the Senate a day later. The final FDA appropriations are $ 2.5 mil. less than the $ 533.9 mil. requested by the Administration. However, the $ 2.5 mil. difference is expected to be provided through budget reprogramming in the current fiscal year. The total appropriation if 11.8% more than FDA's overall 1988 budget of $ 477.5 mil. FDA funding levels under the compromise measure were not subjected to the across-the-board budget cuts proposed for domestic discretionary programs. The Senate appropriations bill had included a 2.7% cut and the House legislation, a 1% cut. The $ 2.5 mil. from the fiscal 1988 budget will go toward the planning and design of a new FDA facility for AIDS research. The conference report earmarks $ 23.9 mil. for FDA buildings and facilities as proposed by the House, instead of the $ 26.5 mil. proposed by the Senate. The House bill had allocated $ 22.5 mil. of the buildings and facilities appropriation to go toward the construction of the AIDS research facility. The conference agreement retains the provision in the Senate bill that "up to $ 3 mil. may be made available to establish and implement a biotechnology demonstration project at the National Center for Toxicological Research." The biotechnology demonstration project was one of several provisions recommended by Sens. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Hatch (R-Utah) and derived from Hatch's FDA Revitalization bill ("The Pink Sheet" July 4, p. 3). However other "revitalization" provisions were not included in the statutory language of the compromise measure; they were either relegated to report language or deleted altogether. For example, the compromise deletes "without prejudice" Senate language permitting FDA to make grants to public and nonprofit institutions to "train health professionals and scientists in the field of regulatory review medicine." In the area of funding for FDA's orphan drug program, the compromise deletes Senate language providing additional funds for the program and adopts the House language, which provided what the Administration had requested: $ 7 mil. for orphan drug work, of which not less than $ 4.9 mil. will be available for orphan drug product grants and contracts. The Senate legislation had contained an appropriation of $ 14.5 mil. for the orphan drug program ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 8, T&G-1). The conference committee agreed to omit a provision from the Senate bill recommending that $ 5.5 mil. of the HHS budget be earmarked for increased FDA inspection of U.S. blood banks. The funding is provided, instead, in the supplemental appropriations measure for the agency, which has already passed both the House and Senate.
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