The US Senate is scheduled to consider Andrew von Eschenbach’s nomination to head the FDA today.
The Senate has scheduled a procedural vote that requires the support of 60 senators to advance the nomination to a full vote, Reuters reported.
Several senators have praised von Eschenbach’s qualifications to lead the agency and his nomination cleared a Senate committee in September.
But three Republican Senators have blocked a full Senate vote.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa said he opposed a von Eschenbach confirmation vote because the FDA failed to cooperate with his investigation of Sanofi-Aventis’ antibiotic Ketek and related reports of liver failure.
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina opposed a vote due to his concerns about the safety of the abortion pill RU-486. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana said he will oppose a vote until prescription drug imports are legalized.
Spokespeople for each of the three senators told Reuters early today they still object to a vote on von Eschenbach’s nomination.