The federal government shutdown means that 42% of the FDA’s personnel will go on furlough, commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said today.
“FDA’s current shutdown plan provides for 58% of workforce continuing to work and 42% furloughed. The number of FDA employees continuing to work in this shutdown is projected to be an increase from past shutdowns. FDA user fee programs have grown significantly since 2013,” Gottlieb wrote on Twitter.
The other 58% will stay on duty to conduct surveillance of adverse events for medical devices, drugs and other medical products, Gottlieb said in another Twitter message.
“FDA personnel will continue to review food and drug imports despite the lapse in appropriated funding. This work is mission critical to protecting consumers/patients from harmful products that may cross into the U.S.,” he wrote. “FDA currently has access to carryover user fee funds that allow us to continue to review/approve some types of medical product applications. Ensuring patients have access to novel, beneficial medical products is key part of our work to protect & promote public health.”
The federal safety watchdog will also continue to monitor influenza activity and the supply of anti-viral medications, working with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Gottlieb added. Food recalls and monitoring will also continue, he said.
“The hurricane recovery has been a key focus for FDA; and this mission critical work will continue in earnest during the shutdown. We will not stop working to alleviate the urgent IV saline shortage situation,” Gottlieb concluded.