Radiation Oncology Expert Named New FDA Commissioner

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Radiation Oncology Expert Named New FDA Commissioner

12/16/2019
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a new commissioners.

On Dec. 12, The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Stephen Hahn to lead the FDA. Hahn, a radiation oncology expert, is chief medical executive of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"Dr. Hahn has been an extraordinary leader for MD Anderson, and this is a tremendous honor for him. We are confident that Dr. Hahn’s passion for patient health and innovation, which characterized his time at MD Anderson, will be a true benefit to our nation and the team at the Food and Drug Administration," the center said in a statement.

Hahn's confirmation comes about eight months after the former commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, stepped down from leading the agency in early April. During his tenure at FDA, Gottlieb focused on keeping electronic cigarettes and vapor products out of the hands of minors.

After several policy proposals, the Trump Administration announced in September that it would remove flavored e-cigarettes and vapor products from the market. However, the administration has not moved on this proposal three months later.

During his confirmation hearings in November, Hahn faced pressure from senators to finalize a ban on sales of flavored vaping products, according to CNN.

Hahn said "this is an important, urgent crisis in this country," but he stopped short of making promises, saying, "I'm not privy to those decision-making processes, but I very much agree and support that aggressive action needs to be taken to protect our children."

He said he has not discussed these views with the president regarding vaping flavors, the report added.