I’ve done a fair amount of reporting on the FDA’s budgetary troubles over the last 18 months. The agency is chronically underfunded, with a rapidly-growing workload and a budget that has fallen 12 percent since 2002.
But apparently that isn’t the only problem, according to a new report (pdf) from the GAO:
FDA could not provide data showing its workload and accomplishments in some areas, such as its review of reports identifying potential safety issues with specific medical products. Without such information, FDA cannot develop complete and reliable estimates of its resource needs.
If I’m reading this right, the problem isn’t just that the FDA doesn’t have enough money — but that it doesn’t even know how much money it doesn’t have.