Possible FDA layoffs if Congress fails to renew medical devices fees

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On Sept. 14, U.S. FDA commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach, alerted the agency that 2,000 employees could get layoff notices as early as next week if Congress fails to renew user fees for drugs and medical devices.

Von Eschenbach claimed that he believes lawmakers will renew user fees to help fund the agency's work, but he also wanted his employees to know a consequence of not renewing the fees would be a reduction-in-force notice.

Both chambers of Congress have passed legislation to renew a program that has the drug industry paying fees to the agency through 2012 to defray the cost of reviewing new medicines.

The House and Senate are trying to settle the differences between their respective bills.

If Congress does not renew the bill, the layoffs would take effect 60 days after issuance of such a notice.