WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner joined 32 other colleagues asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) how the government shutdown has impacted the agency and its work to protect public health.
The letter was addressed to the FDA's commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Warner and Kaine wrote out of concern about how the shutdown’s effects on the FDA could harm Virginians:
“The shutdown has severely limited federal oversight of the nation’s food supply and medical products and may result in slower approvals for drugs and devices. While we appreciate the efforts of the agency and the tireless work of your staff to help mitigate the impact of the shutdown on the public health, we remain deeply concerned about the halt of vital regulatory and compliance activities at FDA. FDA plays a crucial role in ensuring the health and safety of families across the country, and it’s important we fully understand how the ongoing shutdown has impacted its ability to fulfill that role,” the Senators wrote.
The senators expressed concern that the shutdown may jeopardize the agency's ability to detect and address preventable food safety issues. There is also a concern about the possible backlog in the approval process for innovative prescription drugs, generic drugs, and medical devices.