AstraZeneca has urged the US Government to give the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more funding, to help the agency manage its “growing list” of public health responsibilities.

The pharmaceutical firm has called for a 20% increase to the regulator’s 2012 budget, adding that although it would continue to support the FDA where it could, Congress and President Obama must do the same by providing it with the necessary funding.

The FDA’s responsibilities range from overseeing the quality and safety of medical treatments and cosmetics to tackling bioterrorism and public health emergencies such as pandemics.

AstraZeneca is a founding member of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, a coalition of patient groups, biomedical research advocates and health professionals dedicated to making sure the agency is able to meet its tasks.