News Releases

UPDATE: On 3/16 the FDA announced that it would not raid funding for the Office of Women's Health.

Washington, DC - Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) today called on FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach to stop reported efforts to raid funding from the Office of Women's Health and ensure that the Office is fully funded. According to news reports, the FDA intends to reallocate $1.2 million in funding from the FY 2007 budget of the Office of Women's Health to other uses. Congress allocated $4 million for the office for FY 2007.



"For the past sixteen years, the OWH has performed vital work to improve the health and well-being of women across the United States. The OWH looks out for the day to day needs of women and promotes and monitors the progress of women's health initiatives at the FDA. Slashing funding for the OWH would pull the rug out from under these efforts and shortchange promising efforts to improve women's health," the Senators wrote. "As Congress moves forward with the budget and appropriations process, we will pursue every course to make certain that this funding is restored. We intend to use every tool at our disposal to make sure that the OWH has the resources it needs to safeguard women's health."



The following is the text of the letter to FDA Commissioner von Eschenbach:



Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach
Commissioner
Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857



Dear Dr. von Eschenbach,



We are deeply concerned by reports that the Food and Drug Administration intends to withhold $1.2 million of funding allocated by Congress for the Office of Women's Health (OWH). If news of this reallocation is accurate, we urge you to provide any guidance and an explanation for this action. We strongly oppose any efforts to downgrade the OWH at FDA.



For the past sixteen years, the OWH has performed vital work to improve the health and well-being of women across the United States. The OWH looks out for the day to day needs of women and promotes and monitors the progress of women's health initiatives at the FDA. Slashing funding for the OWH would pull the rug out from under these efforts and shortchange promising efforts to improve women's health.



We urge you to ensure that the full amount of funding that was appropriated by Congress for the OWH is set aside for that purpose, and request an immediate explanation as to how the reallocation can be averted. Congress has made its intention clear. As Congress moves forward with the budget and appropriations process, we will pursue every course to make certain that this funding is restored. We intend to use every tool at our disposal to make sure that the OWH has the resources it needs to safeguard women's health.



Thank you for your attention to this matter and we hope that it can be resolved in an expeditious and satisfactory manner.



Sincerely,

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Barbara Mikulski
Patty Murray
Olympia Snowe