On March 16, 2017, the Trump administration released its proposed budget outline for the 2018 federal fiscal year. The proposed plan would double the fees that pharmaceutical companies pay to have their products reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and says that it includes measures to speed up the approval process for new drugs and devices. Yet, at the same time, the plan would reduce the budget of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) by more than 18%, meaning reduced funding for medical research.
Speeding up Drug Approvals Could Prove Deadly
America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, is only an outline, not the full budget. It calls for an increase FDA user fees to over $2 billion. It also says that the actual budget, “includes a package of administrative actions designed to achieve regulatory efficiency and speed the development of safe and effective medical products.” It does not give any details on what those actions are or how they will speed the process.
For those in desperate need of new treatment options, a faster approval process is a welcomed promise. But there is a price to pay. We have already seen the deadly consequences of drugs that are rushed to market before the full range of side effects are known. It’s something you hear about every day.
The consequences could be compounded if the NIH budget is cut, as proposed. The NIH funds most basic medical research in the U.S., which could mean that the research needed in the aftermath of a drug approval disaster would be compromised.
It is also going to work against getting new and innovative treatments to market. The NIH funds the most basic research where important drugs get their start. The kind of research that most companies are not willing to invest in, but that is essential to the development of life-saving drugs, including most cancer drugs, as Dr. Clifford Hudis, CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, explained in an interview with NBC News.
If you have been harmed by a defective medication, please talk to an experienced defective drug attorney right away to learn more about your rights and potential compensation.