On April 12, ASCO submitted a budget request to a House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee, asking for $3.32 billion in funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and support for the Administration’s request of $20 million for FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
In the request, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, thanked subcommittee members for their leadership in securing a $41 million increase for the FDA in FY18 and urged them to continue to build on their investment. “Given the staggering burden of cancer and the drastic impact it has on families across the country, it is critical that Congress continue to provide the FDA resources that will support of the OCE and its ability to speed progress in this new era of targeted and combination therapies for patients with cancer,” wrote Dr. Johnson.
ASCO’s budget request specifically highlighted the important work of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products (OHOP) in ensuring safe and effective drugs for cancer are available to Americans. “This is not an area in which Congress can afford to cut corners,” wrote Dr. Johnson. “American lives depend on the safe and effective development of drug therapies… This important work cannot be sustained without consistent and adequate funding for the FDA in general and the OHOP in particular.”
The society also reiterated its support for OCE and its mission, which aims to achieve patient-centered regulatory decision-making through innovation and collaboration. While Congress provided $15 million for the OCE in FY18, more resources are needed so that it can implement a cross-disciplinary review process and ensure the efficient review of oncology products. ASCO also indicated its support for the Administration’s proposed $473 million increase for medical products that would strengthen the systems that guide and support agency decision-making and stimulate innovation.
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