Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Commish and Deputy Commish

This from Vera Shavner's blog. Multiple hat tips and huzzahs!......

"This just in from the Wall Street Journal online: Margaret "Peggy" Hamburg, a former health commissioner in New York City, is the leading candidate to become FDA commissioner, the agency's top job,while Baltimore health chief Joshua Sharfstein is in line to become a deputycommissioner, the people said."During her stint in New York, she won support for a clean-needle-exchangeprogram for drug addicts in order to limit the spread of AIDS. She opposed a"morality oath" demanded by the Board of Education in 1992 while the citywas debating abstinence-focused sex education in schools. She said thatscience-driven public-health practices, and not "moral judgment" or "wishfulthinking," should be the basis for educating youngsters on how to avoidAIDS.""Dr. Sharfstein, 39, was a candidate for the top job but roused strongopposition from some in the drug industry, according to lobbyists who pushedRepublicans to oppose him. FDA deputies don't need Senate approval."

I don't know much about Hamburg, but it looks like a good team. What does this mean for the current deputies besides Torti--Lumpkin, Lutter, Dyer? And Janet Woodcock in CDER?



  1. Great news! Here's a link about Hamburg.

    Who is Margaret ‘Peggy’ Hamburg? - Health Blog - WSJ

  2. Missing link???

    I understand we need people with experience, but having Lutter and Lumpkin still around is not my idea of a good time.

  3. Perhaps it is good to have the more (seeming) political Sharfstein in the number two position. But softball clearly has not worked re: industry accountability. It is not clear that hardball will work either, but it may be time to give it another try.

  4. I'm pitchin' in for Dianne.

    “In an unusual move, RPM reports, President Obama will tap Hamburg to oversee food and tobacco (provided the FDA-regulating-tobacco-bill makes it through Congress). Sharfstein will handle drugs and devices.” – FiercePharma, 3/9/09

    If ya wanna see links below, ya gotta copy and paste 'em.

    RPM: Hamburg to head FDA with Sharfstein deputy - FiercePharma

    Who is Margaret ‘Peggy’ Hamburg? - Health Blog - WSJ

  5. Denny - Good to see you here! How's the cortisone holding up?

    Anyway, you didn't throw us any links, just names of links.

    You always were a little, well, uncertain.



  6. Yo, Kurk…

    Was she throwin’ us a curve or wat? Maybe I should throw a Bocce ball at her.

    Try hilightin’ wat she wrote and puttin' it in Google search.

    Back to ya,


  7. Ain't nuttin to highlight, Den.

  8. The Hamburg Link:

  9. Say it aint so…

    Try these w/copy & paste.

  10. Hamburg & Sharfstein is a match made in heaven to protect the public from incidents like this:

  11. re: "match made in heaven," thank you, Nancy, for deferring to our preemptive authority on such matters.

  12. Nancy, re: your link: Fraud Case Rocks Anesthesiology Community (

    I would call it Reuben’s Folly.

    From the link:

    “A cornerstone of Dr. Reuben’s approach has been the use of the selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex) and the neuropathic pain agent pregabalin (Lyrica), both manufactured by Pfizer. Dr. Reuben has received research grants from the company and is a member of its speakers’ bureau. However, a source told Anesthesiology News that Pfizer recently alerted its speakers to remove any reference to Dr. Reuben’s data from their presentations. Pfizer was unable to comment by the time this article went to press. The company has not been accused of wrongdoing in the matter.”

    Pfizer gave Reuben grants and made him a member of their speakers’ bureau. Now that they got caught, they don’t want to have anything to do with him.

    Scott Reuben, after years of medical training to become a doctor, has distinguished himself as a:

    A. Fall guy
    B. Liar and cheat
    C. Total jerk
    D. All of the above

  13. Judge Judy, here's more on what your sayin'...

    How did he get caught?

    "In this particular case, Reuben got caught apparently because someone at Baystate got curious about discrepancies in his Institutional Review Board paperwork and started digging."

    Look here:

    That "someone" was probably an intrepid study coordinator. Click on my name for more...

  14. Nancy, Thanks for the evidence you’ve provided. Perhaps Deli can suggest how we get out of this pickle.


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