The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forgot one important factor when they began a study on the risks associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity drugs (ADHD) in children and adults—a budget. This FDA study and others like it may soon stop due to lack of funding by the agency.
The FDA has only $1.6 million budgeted for safety studies of medications, and this amount will soon be reduced to $900,000. Experts feel the agency needs at least $20 million to $100 million to conduct these studies. The FDA’s lack of funding is also affecting their food division that tries to prevent tainted food from being sold to consumers. The number of field inspectors has fallen from 2,217 in 2003 to approximately 1,960, currently. The lack of staff has become a serious issue in light of the recent E. coli-tainted spinach outbreak.
This lack of funding by the FDA could have a profound impact on the public’s health. The agency has 450,000 reports on the negative effects of medications and the drug-safety office only has 90 investigators The FDA predicts their budget problems will likely continue thru 2007 and beyond.