Hamburg to Take Hold of FDA

May 21, 2009
Angie Drakulich

Angie Drakulich was editorial director of Pharmaceutical Technology.

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

The Senate confirmed late Monday night Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, 53, to lead the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Senate confirmed late Monday night Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, 53, to lead the US Food and Drug Administration. Her confirmation comes two months after President Obama nominated her for the job. Hamburg has served as New York City’s acting health commissioner, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, and more recently, a senior scientist at Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

In a May 7, 2009, statement, US Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) described Dr. Hamburg as a “widely respected for her expertise in community health, bio-defense, and nuclear, biological, and chemical preparedness.” He went on to say that Dr. Hamburg “will face many challenges as FDA Commissioner, and she is obviously well-qualified to deal with them.” Swine flu, contaminated food products, and drug supply chains will be among her first challenges.

Hamburg’s confirmation, which was unanimous, completes the HHS food and drug leadership circle, with former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius serving as new HHS Secretary and Joshua Sharfstein, former Baltimore health commissioner, serving as principal deputy commissioner of FDA. Hamburg will be sworn in as commissioner this week.

See related PharmTech blog posts

Obama’s Choice of Hamburg to Lead FDA: Good or Bad?

Has the Time Come to Divide FDA?