FDA meeting sacrificed to government shutdown

October 3, 2013 by Brian Johnson

The federal government shutdown means delaying a meeting between the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee and FDA healthcare regulators.

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Medical device makers will have to wait a little longer for progress on implementation of the FDA's Safety & Innovation Act, now that a meeting with a Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee has been canceled amid the federal government shutdown.

The hearing, originally scheduled for mid-morning Wednesday, was a chance for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to check in on the FDA's progress toward launching programs that include the re-authorization of the Medical Device User Fee Act, among other initiatives.

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The postponement of the hearing marks another instance in which the user fee program has been impacted by gridlock on Capitol Hill.

In March the FDA lost $210 million, or about 5.1% of its $4.1 billion 2013 budget, as a result of sequestration. Included in those cuts were the user fees medical device and pharmaceutical companies pay in order to ensure timely reviews of new devices and drugs.

A pair of bills filed in the House and Senate to try and protect the user fees from the sequester haven't moved forward in either chamber.