US Pharm. 2011;36(11):56.The GPhA called on the Senate to uphold the funding levels allocated to the FDA and Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) by the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. More than 2,000 generic drug applications are awaiting OGD action, and as many as 365 of those are for first-time generic drugs, according to the FDA. As a result, the GPhA contends, consumers and the government are forced to pay brand-drug prices for prescriptions that could be available in affordable generic versions if the FDA is adequately funded. Steep cuts in the FDA's budget could further hamper the timely approval of generic medicines, which have been shown to provide savings for the federal government and the health care system as a whole, the GPhA says.
“At a time when lawmakers in Washington and across the country are under enormous pressure to cut budgets and reduce spending, we applaud the committee's foresight in recognizing the importance of a fully funded FDA,” Ralph G. Neas, president and CEO of GPhA, said. “Today, the use of safe and effective generic prescription drugs is saving consumers and the U.S. health care system more than $3 billion every week. It is absolutely critical that the Senate provide the FDA with the appropriate funding to ensure that patients continue to have access to these medicines at a price they can afford.”