U.S. President Donald Trump plans to nominate Dr. Stephen Hahn, chief medical executive of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, to lead the Food and Drug Administration, the White House said on Friday.
If confirmed, Hahn, a radiation oncologist who has been at MD Anderson in Houston since 2015, would succeed former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who stepped down from the post earlier this year. Hahn’s nomination passes over Ned Sharpless, a previous director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), who is currently serving as acting FDA commissioner, according to an article by Reuters.
Sharpless will return to his role at NCI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday.
Hahn, who had previously been head of radiation oncology at Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, would be taking over a regulatory agency that oversees products ranging from complex cancer drugs, to food, cosmetics and tobacco, according to the story.
“The FDA is a massive government bureaucracy… There is a political aspect to running the FDA that is not really something that Dr. Hahn has done in the past,” said Christopher Mikson, leader of law firm Mayer Brown’s FDA regulatory practice.
“One of the reasons the Trump Administration would bring him in is because he is an outsider. He is an academic medical administrator from Texas by way of Philadelphia, not a Washington insider,” Mikson added, according to the story.
Hahn worked for a few years at the NCI earlier in his career.
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