Who should Obama pick for FDA Commissioner?

It seems like everyone in the Pharma Blogosphere and the press is recommending who president-elect Barack Obama should nominate as the new FDA Commissioner to replace Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.

A few weeks ago, I created the “Who Should Obama Nominate for FDA Commissioner?” online survey to determine who readers of Pharma Marketing News think should be the next FDA Commissioner. I received many interesting comments and decided to open the survey up to as many stakeholders as possible, including consumers, healthcare professionals, former FDA and other government officials, pharmaceutical employees, and others.

I hope readers of The Health Care Blog will also participate (see how below) and I thank Matthew for allowing me to make this post to THCB.

The following is a list of the candidates for FDA Commissioner included in the survey. I chose these based on several news reports and blog posts that suggested them as contenders. Survey respondents can also write in their choice if that person is not on the list.

  • Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research and professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Duke.
  • Dora Hughes, Health Policy Advisor to Senator Barack Obama. More info…
  • David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner.
  • Steve Nissen, cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic.
  • Mary Pendergast, industry consultant who was a former associate FDA Commissioner under David Kessler. 
  • Peter Rost, former Pfizer VP of Marketing, now a blogger.
  • Joshua Sharfstein, commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department.
  • Mike Taylor, former Deputy FDA Commissioner under Clinton
  • Susan Wood, the former head of women’s health at FDA, who resigned in protest after the delay in switching the morning-after pill over-the-counter.
  • Janet Woodcock, Center for Drug Evaluation & Research Director

To date, approximately 400 responses have been collected. The chart shown below gives the overall results from US respondents (approximately 88% of the total).Fdacommiss

Among US health care professional respondents, 55% of whom are somewhat or very supportive of the pharmaceutical industry, a plurality of 36.4% chose Steven Nissen and 20% chose Peter Rost. Woodcock, Wood, and Califf are tied for third place with each having 9% of that group’s vote.

I don’t have nearly enough input from health care professionals to definitively say that Nissen is the front runner. That is why your vote is so important.

Please take a few minutes to tell us who you think President-elect Obama should nominate as the new FDA Commissioner!

Take the survey here: http://tinyurl.com/5syxkp

Results of this survey will be summarized in the next issue of Pharma Marketing News, which will be published next week.

Your comments are confidential (anonymous) unless you specifically provide your contact information at the end of the survey and allow us to attribute comments to you personally.

John Mack is the publisher Pharma Marketing News and the Pharma Marketing Blog.

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