News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Senators block Bush nominee to head FDA

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 23 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:686
  1. Janice Tanne
  1. New York

    Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Patty Murphy of Washington state have blocked President Bush's nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach to head the Food and Drug Administration.

    Dr von Eschenbach, who is also head of the National Cancer Institute, has been acting commissioner of the FDA since September 2005. During President Bush's years in office the FDA has had a permanent head for only a few months.

    The two Democrat senators said they acted because of the FDA's failure to decide to make the emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel (known as Plan B) available without a prescription. Plan B is highly successful in preventing pregnancy if it is taken within 72 hours after intercourse.

    In a joint statement they said, “For more than two years the FDA has dragged …

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