Help the Society Protect Women’s Health at FDA
8 years ago
The FDA Office of Women’s Health (OWH) may have $1.2 million of its $4 million annual budget cut this year. The cut would take place in the middle of the year and force the office to stop all programmatic operations for the rest of 2007. We are already almost half way into the fiscal year and OWH has spent or committed more money than it will have for the entire year. OWH was created in 1994, when women’s health received little or no attention from the FDA. It is a vital and necessary focal point for women’s health at FDA. It performs an important role by taking a comprehensive view of women’s health, helping set priorities in this area at FDA, and working to fill gaps in research, address areas that are being neglected, and respond to urgent health and safety concerns. The cut represents roughly half of the OWH program budget, which goes toward research grants and outreach activities, both of which are tasks Congress specifically asks OWH to perform. The cut goes against presidential and congressional requests, as both intend for OWH to be funded at $4 million annually. This was the amount approved for 2006 and was in the budget for 2007. The mission of OWH is not complete and its duties cannot be successfully turned back over to the FDA’s other centers. The FDA centers, such as the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, do not have enough funding to perform their own duties, much less take on additional responsibilities related to women’s health. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., commissioner of the FDA, testified before the Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 27, and Wednesday, Feb. 28. When asked by Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., and Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., to address the potential cut, Eschenbach said no final decisions on 2007 funding have been made. We are working to ensure that OWH is fully funded in 2007 as intended by the president and Congress. For more information about how you can help, visit our Web site at: http://www.womenshealthresearch.org.