On November 20, 2019, Stephen Hahn, MD, President Trump’s nominee to be the next Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee and answered wide-ranging questions relating to the many important roles the Commissioner must oversee. In a statement released by Friends of Cancer Research (Friends), Ellen Sigal, PhD, Chair and Founder, offered the following remarks.
Utmost Integrity, Understanding of Patients’ Needs
“The FDA plays a critical role in protecting and promoting health—a mission that impacts all Americans,” said Dr. Sigal. “A confirmed Commissioner with the utmost scientific integrity and a direct understanding of patients’ needs is a necessity to fulfill that mission. Dr. Hahn showed [during the confirmation hearing] he has a strong focus on advancing innovation, improving public health, and doing what is right by patients. We hope the Senate moves quickly on his -confirmation.”
Dr. Sigal continued, “Friends recognizes that the next Commissioner will lead the agency at a pivotal time.” She noted that the group looks forward to working with the FDA to address immediate priorities that include:
- Implementing the necessary quality assurances for diagnostic test oversight
- Developing a framework for cutting-edge individualized technologies like cell and gene therapies
- Ensuring the accuracy of drug labels over time
- Setting the groundwork for the -upcoming reauthorization of FDA user fees programs.
Dr. Hahn is a board-certified radiation oncologist who currently serves as the Chief Medical Executive at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. “Upon his confirmation, Friends looks forward to working with Dr. Hahn to continue and expand the vital work that both Former Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless set forth,” said Dr. Sigal.