The Alliance for a Stronger FDA had an interesting blog posting on Friday called "Top Ten Things that Hill Staff Need to Know About FDA" in preparation for their upcoming Hill Lobby Day to be held March 11. In case you aren't familiar with them, the Alliance for a Stronger FDA is a group that has been formed that includes many non-profit groups, trade associations, companies and law firms for the purpose of working to ensure that FDA remains credible and gets the resources it needs to protect public health. They published their "Top Ten Things…" on their blog.
That "Top Ten Things…" exercise is a smart messaging move, giving everybody consistent talking points to take on the Hill of messages that will then resonate. As I often like to say when I conduct a messaging session – messaging is a lot like a musical band. When you enter the music hall and hear everyone tuning and warming up, it is a pleasant sort of background noise that whets your musical appetite for what you are about to hear, but it isn't until everyone plays from the same page that you have something you can hum when you go home.
In any case, a few of them were very interesting, I thought, so here are the ones that I'm humming:
- FDA is a comparatively small agency with an appropriation of $2.35B in 2010 to regulate one-quarter of the economy;
- 25 years ago, FDA and CDC were the same size, but today CDC's budget is nearly 3 times as large;
- After 3 years of increases to its budget, FDA staffing levels for 2010 have only just been restored to the previous high-level hit in 1994
For the full list, check out the posting and the accompanying commentary. And good luck to the Alliance when on the Hill. Leave 'em singing your tune.