Thursday, March 16, 2006
The New York Times reports today that President Bush has nominated the current acting FDA commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach to become permanent head of the agency. He is currently also the director of the National Cancer Institute. For more information on him, see the very helpful write-up by the Kaiser Network Org. Citing to a recent LA Times story, it states as some of Von Eschbach's goals include: "As permanent commissioner, von Eschenbach likely would focus on streamlining FDA's process for approving new medications for hard-to-cure diseases like certain cancers. FDA also must "establish a framework for regulating emerging fields such as generic medicine."
However, according to a story aired this morning on National Public Radio, von Eschenbach may not ever be confirmed because Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) have placed a hold on the confirmation vote due to the failure of the FDA to act on the nonprescription availability of Plan B (emergency contraceptive device). For more information and commentary, see the Washington Monthly discussion and read the full Kaiser Network Org article. [bm]