Bush is expected to nominate acting FDA head Andrew von Eschenbach for the permanent job at the agency within the next two weeks. Dr. von Eschenbach, who moved to the FDA from the National Cancer Institute, came in as a replacement for former chairman Lester Crawford last year after his sudden exit. Von Eschenbach moved to government from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Confirmation hearings are likely to focus on controversial issues like the debate over the agency's handling of the Plan B contraceptive and stem cell research. A staunch supporter of faster drug approval times, von Eschenbach is likely to win favor from the pharmaceutical industry and draw criticism from skeptics concerned about drug safety.
- see this article from the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)