Watch FDA Commisioner Andrew von Eschenbach’s Interview with Bloomberg Today

The FDA Commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, was just interviewed by Bloomberg today. He addressed a number of issues in the interview, including Senator Grassley's proposal to establish a separate new center for drug safety.  (Dr. v.A's  against it, because he says drug safety and effectiveness go hand in hand and should be considered together, in one seamless process). In the interview, the Commissioner also touches on the Agency's IT needs, user  fee structure, and biogenerics, where, he says "The science isn't there yet, but FDA is working to develop it." Full-scale biogenerics approvals are still a few years off, he suggests, given the "spectrum of complexity" involved with large molecule drugs.  He also addressed the whole tobacco issue.  (Could there be a Prohibition-style ban on smoking in the future?  I doubt it, and it would only make smoking appear more attractive anyway...like the phenomenon of "smirting" that was seen in Ireland after they banned smoking in pubs and restaurants.  Smokers would huddle together outside and flirt, and generally seemed to have more fun than the nonsmoking crowd...) Bloggers Mark Senak, in Eye on FDA and Pharma Marketing's John Mack recently criticized Dr. Von Eschenbach for being incoherent in some recent newspaper interviews.  (Although the photo in Mr. Mack's entry could easily have been illustrating Agency budget needs vs. allocations).  Perhaps the Commish was having a bad day? For the record, the Star-Ledger interviewer might have prodded him to explain/say more and left the "perception vs. reality" babble on the cutting room floor. But watch the interview yourself. Dr. v. E. comes across as articulate and sincere.  Perhaps he'll appear more frequently on broadcast T.V. (this was the first video interview I'd seen, apart from brief press conference clips, since he officially became Commissioner). It would  help ensure that the FDA's new agenda [and it really does appear to have one] is communicated to the public, and emphasize the fact that, after a few uncertain years, someone is at the helm of the Agency.  

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Andy Talks (Part 1) - Bloomberg

Bloomberg - (BLOOM)

Mar. 06, 2007. 12:18 PM EST

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Interview with FDA Commissioner Von Eschenbach, Part 2 - Bloomberg

Bloomberg - (BLOOM)

Mar. 06, 2007. 12:23 PM EST