11.20.19

Alexander: Dr. Stephen Hahn is an “Impressive Choice” to Lead FDA at This Critical Time

Says his experience as a physician, as an executive and at federal health agencies is what FDA needs

“This is a critical time for FDA, and there is a lot that FDA needs to do – approve lifesaving drugs, regulate tobacco and e-cigarettes, complete the ongoing lung injury investigation and continue addressing the opioid crisis. …Dr. Hahn is well prepared and a strong choice to lead the FDA.” – Senator Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 20 – At today’s Senate health committee hearing, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that Dr. Stephen Hahn is an “impressive choice” to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

“This is a critical time for FDA, and there is a lot that FDA needs to do – review and approve lifesaving drugs and devices, regulate tobacco and e-cigarettes, complete the ongoing lung injury investigation, protect our nation’s food supply, and continue addressing the opioid crisis, Alexander said. “As an oncologist, you know firsthand the importance of bringing new, life-saving drugs and devices quickly through the regulatory process. And as a successful chief executive, you will bring a guiding hand to an agency tasked with protecting the public’s health.

“I believe those experiences, as well as your experience with the National Institutes of Health and Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, have made you well prepared and a strong choice to lead the FDA.”

Alexander continued: “In recent years, this committee has taken a number of steps to help the FDA keep up with the rapid pace of new discoveries while continuing to ensure the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and devices. … Looking ahead, the perspective of a physician – and an executive – is what FDA needs to successfully implement the 21st Century Cures Act, address the opioid crisis, ensure Americans with chronic pain can get the medications they need, protect our nation’s food supply and regulate tobacco and e-cigarettes.”

The Senate health committee today held a hearing to consider Dr. Stephen Hahn’s nomination to serve as FDA commissioner. Dr. Hahn currently serves as the chief medical executive at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is board certified in both medical oncology and radiation oncology, specializing over the course of his career on prostate, bladder, kidney, testicular, and lung cancers and sarcoma.  

The president nominated Hahn on November 5. The committee received his committee paperwork on November 6 and a letter from the Office of Government Ethics stating Hahn is “in compliance with applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest” on November 12.

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