Saturday, September 24, 2005

So long, been good to know ya

Lester Crawford, the FDA Commissioner who was appointed only two months ago and then proceeded to block over-the-counter sales of Plan B emergency contraception has resigned.

Crawford won a contentious confirmation battle in the Senate after Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt assured Senate Democrats the FDA would act on over-the-counter sales of the morning after pill Plan B by September 1.

But he came under fresh attack in late August when the FDA indefinitely postponed a ruling on whether Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. could sell the Plan B contraceptive without a prescription. The agency's top women's health official resigned in protest.

The FDA also faced a string of drug safety controversies during Crawford's tenure. Some critics charged the agency with being too slow to react to signs of serious side effects from Merck & Co. Inc.'s recalled painkiller Vioxx and other medicines.


Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, said Crawford's resignation was "a move toward reforming FDA."

"Lester Crawford's leadership at FDA since 2002 has been both tepid and passive. There were so many problems under his watch," Mikulski said.

Excuse me while I shake my groove thang.

Okay, I'm better now.


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