Lawmaker Asks Obama to Hold off on Top FDA Appointment

The Wall Street Journal reports that there is turmoil in discussions to replace FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. Although von Eschenbach has not yet announced his plans, his departure is expected soon.In the meantime, Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI), has asked Obama to avoid naming a replacement, in particular anyone associated with current FDA leadership. In a letter Wednesday to Mr.

December 6, 2008

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Lawmaker Asks Obama to Hold off on Top FDA Appointment

Obama, Stupak wrote, "I would encourage you not to appoint any current senior FDA employee as Commissioner or Interim Commissioner of the FDA," reports the journal.He added, "Current senior FDA employees are too close with the industries they regulate, creating a question of who they are working for." He called for a "complete change in the FDA's leadership." The letter doesn't name any officials.Janet Woodcock's name has been in conversations as a possible interim or permanent FDA chief. Other nonFDA names being heard include Joshua Sharfstein, head of the Baltimore Health Department, and Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

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