The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews applications from manufacturers that wish to market medical devices in the United States. To facilitate prompt approval of new devices and clearance of devices that are substantially equivalent to those legally on the market, the Congress passed the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act of 2002 (MDUFMA). The act authorizes FDA to collect user fees from manufacturers and, in return, requires FDA to meet performance goals tied to the agency's review process. These goals are linked to certain actions FDA may take during the application review process. The goals specify lengths of time for taking these actions and the percentage of actions the agency is to take within specified time frames. MDUFMA requires GAO to report on whether FDA is meeting performance goals established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for fiscal year 2005 and whether FDA is likely to meet the goals established for fiscal year 2006. GAO analyzed data provided by FDA that are based on actions taken on applications FDA received from October 1, 2002, through March 31, 2005. GAO used FDA's performance on applications received in fiscal years 2003 and 2004 as an indicator of the agency's likely performance.
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