11/21/2012 - ''The Food and Drug Administration’s mandate is too important to be compromised by a clunky personnel system.
The FDA is charged with protecting the nation’s public health by ensuring the safety of food, drugs and medical devices, among other things. But in 2007, an agency panel found that the FDA’s 'scientific workforce does not have sufficient capacity and capability' and the agency is 'not positioned to meet current or emerging regulatory responsibilities.'
The Pew Charitable Trusts wanted to know if that’s still the case, because 'FDA is critically important to protecting the public health,' said Kathleen Stratton, Pew’s director of the Innovate FDA Project. It asked the Partnership for Public Service to find out.
'FDA has made progress,' says the Partnership’s report, but the agency 'continues to have significant workforce and management challenges in the scientific and medical arenas that need to be addressed.'
The Partnership released its study, 'The State of the FDA Workforce,' (PDF) Tuesday. It cites several improvements the agency has made since 2007, including the use of visiting scientists, a fellowship program, new training for medical device reviewers, a peer review program and the return this year to the FDA of its human relations office, which had been centralized in the Department of Health and Human Services.
But the FDA’s HR system still isn’t the 'well-oiled machin' Stratton says it needs to be."
Read the full article, Report Calls for Workforce and Management Improvements at FDA, on the Washington Post's website.