The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will fully fund the Office of Women’s Health in 2007. Earlier this year, an unnamed, high level official leaked that the FDA was considering withholding 30 percent of the Office’s $4 million annual budget, which would have effectively halted any further projects in 2007. The FDA’s 2007 operating plan, which was released on Friday, allocates the full budgeted amount to the Office of Women’s Health.
Amid pressure from women’s health advocates, FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach appeared in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee in late February, claiming that no decision had been made about funding for the office. The Feminist Majority Foundation, along with other women’s advocacy groups, wrote letters to Senator Herb Kohl and Representative Rosa DeLauro, the chairs of the Senate and House subcommittees that regulate policy affecting the FDA, and Commissioner von Eschebach, urging them to protect the Office that has made great strides for women’s health.
Since its inception in 1994, the Office of Women’s Health has worked to include women in clinical research, funded over 100 studies on issues including everything from heart disease to the safety of medicines in pregnant women to dietary supplements, and educated more than 26 million consumers on mammography, depression, strokes, and more.