US President Barack Obama has signed the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, reports The Hill's Healthwatch Blog. The bill, which was passed in its final form by Congress last month, re-authorizes FDA to collect user fees from drug and medical device companies to fund the agency's review process. As our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has noted, under this bill FDA will be able to collect an additional $308 million over the course of five years, which will allow the agency to streamline its regulatory processes — hiring 200 new employees — as well as improve the agency's "transparency, efficiency, and consistency."
The Hill's Healthwatch Blog notes that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised the legislation Monday. "S. 3187 is the culmination of the work of the administration and Congress, in partnership with patients, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, the clinical community, and other stakeholders, to provide the Food and Drug Administration with the tools needed to continue to bring drugs and devices to market safely and quickly and promote innovation in the biomedical industry, and to help secure the jobs supported by drug and device development," she said in a statement.