Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Dr. Lester M. Crawford, the former acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, has been named the new head of the agency. President Bush announced his appointment yesterday and immediately Congress as well as those who work within or monitor the pharmaceutical industry expressed some mixed reactions. Dr. Crawford took over last March for Dr. Mark McClellan who left to become head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Since then, he has had to deal with several contentious issues, most notably the vioxx/celebrex drug monitoring lapse. Some speculation exists that he was appointed at this time due to the upcoming drug-advisory commitee hearings on drug safety and how the agency has handled drug safety concerns.
On a related note, CNN is reporting that Dr. David Graham, who testifed earlier concerning vioxx and its dangers to heart health, now claims that he cannot testify and present further findings of the potential dangers of certain pain relievers during the upcoming drug advisory hearings because he feels that his job may be threatened.
It doesn't sound like the FDA is a place that you would want to work right now. [bm]