Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Health10

"Go Slow" on Budget Cuts

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 06:43

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg says the FDA is looking carefully at areas for cost savings, but the new GOP majority focused on spending cuts must recognize the important role the FDA plays.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

That could directly impact federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration . Joining us now is FDA commissioner doctor Margaret Hamburg and doctor Hamburg. FDA to be part of any budget cutting process. budget to four billion dollars part of that. To transform the nation's food safety program. Is that in jeopardy. This isn't really critical time for food safety is a bill currently pending before congress that would give us both additional authorities. And resources. To expand our mission to really be focused and transformed some of what we have preventive approach. To food safety . There are opportunities to save money if we can put programs in place that enable us to prevent problems from happening in the first place. That will be enormously important them food safety side. Every time there's an outbreak and a major recall. It has huge cost in terms of health and -- but also I think stated doctor Margaret Hamburg commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration . I'm Fred Katayama this is. Republicans are preparing to take control of the US House of Representatives. And aggressively pushing an agenda across the board domestic spending cuts. That could directly impact federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration . Joining us now is FDA commissioner doctor Margaret Hamburg and doctor Hamburg. FDA to be part of any budget cutting process. I expect that every agency. Will be scrutinized. And we will all be asked to looked deep into our programs to see. You know where cuts can be made. I didn't think it's very very important that acts as a nation really. We recognize that FDA isn't very. Unique and essential agency. And that we need to be very very careful because we have responsibilities. That are vital to all Americans. And involves the food they eat the drugs they take. The cosmetics they use the products so many products that they use things that really matter in their lives every day. And if we can't do our job we don't have the resources we need. Everyone will suffer or that if the GOP was for across the board cuts looks at possibly to the 2008 level is the FD prepared to do that. You know. -- it will of course do our best with whatever resources that we have. I hope that averaging need to work with congress to really look very carefully because this -- time expanding challenges. And responsibilities for the FDA. As. Especially we look at globalized world and growing number of products coming in from. You know 200 countries overseas. So what you need to be thinking about how to use resources as strategically and responsibly as possible. And I hope that will have the opportunity to to really work with congress to make sure that at the end of the day the FDA still able to fulfill its critical mission. To promote and protect the health of the public. In considering these things has your budget team considered or started -- what areas of FDA could be trimmed. If -- press that point. Well you know we are always looking at how we can be as efficient as possible and we're looking very very carefully. At an area is. Where there may be opportunities. To. -- detained synergies by working with others horror. To apply. New science to do things more efficiently. I areas might does that. Well I'm not gonna get into the specific details but I think that you know we have to recognize that for many reasons. Going slow in terms of flashing -- FDA budget. Is going to be carrying very important because we represent. An agency. That is responsible for the oversight. For assuring safety. Quality. And often effectiveness of products. That. Matter for people's lives literally. Let's talk -- is an earlier this year -- agency asked for an increase of 23% in the budget to four billion dollars part of that. To transform the nation's food safety program. Is that in jeopardy. This isn't really critical time for food safety is a bill currently pending before congress that would give us both additional authorities. And resources. To expand our mission to really be focused and transformed some of what we have preventive approach. To food safety . There are opportunities to save money if we can put programs in place that enable us to prevent problems from happening in the first place. That will be enormously important them food safety side. Every time there's an outbreak and a major recall. It has huge cost in terms of health and -- but also a huge cost. For that. Company and part of the recall and also the industry more broadly. So we need to think about FDA in the broader context not just its impact. On the health of individuals families and communities but also its impact on the economy. All right let's. Let's say washing does curtail spending. Wool industry make up for those fees. Well as you probably know the FDA budget is in fact supported by combination. Budget appropriations. Public dollars. And utilities and industry. And we currently expect. That industry will can. Tribute significantly. To what we're doing user -- don't apply in every domain. -- the activity. And industry appropriately so feel that while they want to make contribution have a strong effective FDA. It's also in the public interest in public dollars should support that. All right lastly what's in the next twelve to eighteen months is there one thing that if it is US commissioner could have FDA address what is she wouldn't be. Well I have to I want to see FDA. Conditions as strongly and effectively. To the 21 agency is possible and we're not there yet but we can be there must be that involves strengthening science. And applying. All of the advances in science and technology. Two making arbitrary pathways. And procedures as streamlined and modernized possible that will serve the public able. New treatments. Prevention. Yours to get to people who need them. And -- in response to use the demands globalized world -- products coming from hundreds of countries around the world. Hundreds of thousands of facilities. Products that we know. Can represent threats to help -- appropriate regulatory oversight doesn't matter whether it's contaminated heparin. Or food borne outbreaks and so we have a huge set of responsibilities. And we have to address -- world I guess is telling Reuters health summit when he first century tools for the 20% thanks for joining us -- I think stated doctor Margaret Hamburg commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration . I'm Fred Katayama this is.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

"Go Slow" on Budget Cuts

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 06:43