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Two candidates for FDA commissioner identified


WASHINGTON The head of the Baltimore Health Department may become commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration under President-elect Barack Obama, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Journal described Joshua Sharfstein as a critic of the pharmaceutical industry who would likely strengthen regulations and who persuaded the FDA to forbid sales of OTC cough and cold medicines to children, but he also supports vaccinations of children.

Steven Nissen, who is in charge of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, is another candidate for the post, and he has hurt GlaxoSmithKline’s and Merck’s sales by calling the safety of the respective diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone maleate) and the cholesterol drug Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin) into question.

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