Unfortunately, I was right.
On Friday, in the shadows of tainted Heparin, the Senate passed a budget resolution to give the F.D.A. an additional $375 million, a 20 percent increase over this year.
Some representative quotes on this issue from an article by Gardiner Harris in todayâ€™s edition of the New York Times:
â€œCongress has a responsibility to close the glaring gaps in food and drug safety that have begun to overwhelm the F.D.A.,â€ Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts.
â€œF.D.A. needs a serious infusion of resources and strong leadership dedicated to reforming the agency,â€ said Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California.
And, of course, everyoneâ€™s favorite FDA expert, Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, â€œI donâ€™t want to throw money at an agency that doesnâ€™t have the infrastructure to carry out its mission.â€
Some top agency officials are simply â€œincompetent,â€ she added, and real change can occur only with a new administration.
Really, a new administration? Note to Representative DeLauro â€“ the head of every center at the FDA is a career government employee. At the FDA, an agency of roughly 10,000, there are fewer than 10 â€œpoliticalâ€ appointees. Does Ms. DeLauro, the chair of the House appropriations subcommittee with authority over the agency, believe that Dr. Janet Woodcock is â€œincompetent?â€ What about CBERâ€™s Dr. Jesse Goodman â€“ widely considered one of the finest scientists in government?
And then, of course, thereâ€™s the usual ranting from our favorite Sheep in Wolfeâ€™s Clothing.
Hereâ€™s a link to the complete article:
Alas, the title of the article says it all â€“â€œTainted Drugs Put Focus on the F.D.A.â€
And it isnâ€™t even a done deal.