Industry coalition wary of potential FDA chief candidates

With speculation swirling over possible FDA Commissioner appointees, a coalition of industry groups has made its opinion known in a letter to Tom Daschle, Obama's incoming Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The letter "urges the early appointment of a Commissioner with impeccable qualifications,” including “excellent scientific credentials,” “proven managerial and administrative experience,” and the “capacity to build consensus,” among other qualities. Also, candidates should not be excluded solely based on relationships with industry, the letter stated.

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reported on December 18 that some FDA insiders saw the letter as a vehicle for addressing concerns about Steven Nissen, of the Cleveland Clinic, and Joshua Sharfstein, both outspoken critics of drug manufactures as well as short-list candidates for the job.

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