Thursday, September 21, 2006
The New York Times reports that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved Andrew von Eschenbach to head the Food and Drug Administration. His approval had been delayed due to the politics surrounding the delayed approval for Plan B. The Times reports that there are new issues that may further stall his confirmation vote before the full Senate. The new delay comes from the Republican side this time. The newspaper reports,
Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, has promised to hold up Dr. von Eschenbach’s nomination until the Bush administration agrees to legalize imports of cheaper drugs from abroad. And Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, said he would not allow the nomination to proceed until Dr. von Eschenbach took action to suspend sales of RU-486, the abortion drug. The F.D.A is not expected to take any such action soon.
The article quotes the Senator Senate Committee chairman as noting that the FDA commissioner's confirmation is as difficult as that of a Supreme Court justice. It does appear to be that way.