Oncologist Stephen Hahn reportedly poised to be next FDA chief

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Hahn is the chief medical executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. About a month ago, he was interviewed by Trump. So far he is the only candidate to be interviewed in-person for the position and according to Politico​, Hahn is the “clear frontrunner” for the position.

Hahn is a longtime GOP donor but, unlike some past FDA commissioners, has accepted relatively little money from the drug and medical device industries. The Texas doctor would replace Dr. Ned Sharpless, who has acted as FDA commissioner since Dr. Scott Gottlieb left the post in April. The Trump administration’s decision is seen as a slap in the face to four former FDA commissioners and several advocacy organizations, all of whom advocated for Sharpless to be named the permanent agency head.

“I like acting,” President Trump said in January​ of having administrators serving in ‘acting’ positions. “It gives me more flexibility. Do you understand that? I like acting. So we have a few that are acting. We have a great, great cabinet.”

By law, the Trump administration must formally nominate a long-term FDA commissioner by November 1st because federal laws limit acting officials to 210 days in Senate-confirmed positions. 

The future of dietary supplements  

Will the FDA preserve a food and nutrition policy that promotes public health goals? Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., CEO and President of the Natural Products Association (NPA) told NutraIngredients-USA that he hopes the future leadership will do a better job at looking out for consumers,

 “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neglected a series of its enforcement obligations over the past several years, meaning unsafe and untested dietary supplement ingredients are being imported to the U.S. and reaching store shelves. Adulterated ingredients that have not completed the New Dietary Ingredient notification process are entering our country at an alarming rate and it’s been roughly six years since the FDA provided dietary supplement import alerts to prevent this. This puts American consumers at risk and compliant US supplement-makers at a terrible disadvantage,” ​he said.

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