Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

David Ewing Duncan

A View from David Ewing Duncan

Interview With the New FDA Head

Margaret Hamburg has an Obama-like energy. She’ll need it to reform and rebuild an agency that has been in trouble for years

  • October 14, 2009

Last week Margaret Hamburg took time out during a health care summit at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to talk to me about finding more money for the agency, making it tougher and stronger, and restoring the public’s faith in the FDA.

Below are some outtakes from the interview. Margaret Hamburg was named in March by President Obama and confirmed in May as the 21st commissioner (and second woman) to head this agency that oversees $2 trillion of what Americans spend on products.

First, I want to restore faith and trust in the FDA as a science-driven agency. I want to be a vocal advocate for the resources we require. It’s stunning how underfunded we are given the importance of what we do. 25% of every dollar spent by Americans is regulated by the FDA.

During a crisis we have to not be afraid to communicate rather than circle the wagons, which has happened before. We have been taking a very clear-eyed look at past problems to learn from those mistakes.

We’re undermining our own best interests if we have a very robust investment in biomedical research and a scrawny investment in regulatory science and support for the FDA.

We are starting up a new center for tobacco products, and we’ve hired on a terrific new director. We will be moving forward on areas of labeling and issues around the marketing of tobacco products, especially marketing to youth.

Check out my complete interview with the new FDA commissioner here.

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Rewriting Life

Reprogramming our bodies to make us healthier.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.