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November 07, 2019

New FDA Commissioner to be Nominated

Dr. Stephen Hahn is expected to be President Trump’s nominee for Commissioner of the FDA. Dr. Hahn is a radiation oncologist and the Chief Medical Executive at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Hahn has little policy experience, but is a noted researcher, having authored 220 peer-reviewed original research articles. He is also well-regarded for stabilizing the MD Anderson Cancer Center after the previous president was implicated in a series of financial and ethical controversies.

Dr. Norman E. Sharpless has been Acting Commissioner of the FDA since Dr. Scott Gottlieb vacated the position in April. Dr. Sharpless’s tenure expired November 1, at 5:00 P.M. The Assistant Secretary for Health, Admiral Brett Giroir, will assume all duties while the nomination and confirmation process for Dr. Hahn is pending. Several health interest groups expressed concern over this lack of continuity at a time when there are several public health crises looming, particularly those surrounding e-cigarettes and opioids.