Policy-ish

FDA's Age Of Aquarius?

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The incoming FDA commissioner and her deputy have been hailed by some as rescuers of a drowning agency and others as bean counters seeking more rules, but there is no doubt Commissioner Margaret "Peggy" Hamburg and Principle Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein dream big.

In fact, they laid out their Aquarian Age aspirations in a New England Journal of Medicine piece published today.

They detail several of the challenges facing the agency and promise to "minimize risks through education, regulation and enforcement" and explain their actions to the public clearly.

They indicate they will avoid the appearance of political influence on agency decisions that plagued the last administration (i.e. Plan B):

"For these communications to have credibility, the public must trust the agency to base its decisions on science.

And they give a shout-out to would-be whistleblowers:

"We recognize the importance of a mangement approach that respects the exertise and dedication of the FDA's career scientists."

Hamburg and Sharfstein also acknowledge the importance of interagency cooperation.

They say they will work closely with CDC on food safety and infectious disease outbreaks, work with the CMS to get novel treatments to patients, and work with NIH and the pharamceutical industry to develop cures.

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