WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sunday, March 15, 2009) - Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement today commending President Barack Obama for his nomination of Dr. Margaret Hamburg as Commissioner and appointment of Dr. Joshua Sharfstein as Deputy Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
“BIO welcomes the nomination of Dr. Hamburg as the next FDA Commissioner and we urge the Senate to move swiftly to confirm her. The vital work of the FDA touches every American in very personal ways – from ensuring the safety of the foods we serve our families to overseeing the medicines we give our children when they are sick. The FDA needs a strong, confirmed Commissioner to effectively fulfill its expanding obligations, advocate for sufficient agency resources, ensure the integrity of scientific decisions and promote morale and a sense of mission at the agency.
“Dr. Hamburg’s strong background in public health and bioterrorism make her uniquely qualified for this important position. She served as health commissioner for New York City where she implemented several innovative public health programs, including a control program that reduced New York’s tuberculosis rate by 46 percent She has an understanding of the federal health infrastructure, having worked as an AIDS researcher at the National Institutes of Health and later as an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Hamburg also has served as a key member of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit organization focused on reducing the public safety threat from chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
“BIO also welcomes the appointment of Dr. Joshua Sharfstein as Deputy Commissioner as he brings an impressive resume to the FDA as well. A Harvard-trained doctor, he has served as Health Commissioner of Baltimore, Maryland for the past four years. Dr. Sharfstein understands the legislative process well, having served on the professional Committee staff of U.S. Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA).
“Our member companies recognize that a reliable, science-driven regulatory environment fosters innovation, promotes economic competitiveness, and maintains high patient and consumer confidence in the products that FDA regulates. Changes in the world are affecting the health and well-being of every American and the safety of the food that we eat and the drugs, biologics, and medical devices upon which we depend. We welcome the nomination of an FDA Commissioner who can help the agency address the myriad challenges of the 21st century.
“The next FDA Commissioner will play a pivotal role in strengthening the FDA’s ability to operate a modern, scientifically-based agency and ensuring that the agency is fully resourced and prepared to confront future challenges. We appreciate the fact that the Administration has made the swift identification of a FDA Commissioner a priority. The American public deserves such steady, capable and visionary leadership.
“We look forward to working with the next Commissioner, her leadership team and the Congress to ensure that the FDA has the resources necessary to protect America’s patients and consumers.”
Upcoming BIO Events
March 16-18, 2009
BIO IP Counsels' Committee Conference
March 25–27, 2009
BIO National Venture Conference
March 31–April 1,2009
BIO Windhover 2009
April 13-15, 2009
New York, NY
BIO-LES Business Development Basics Course
May 15–17, 2009
BIO-LES Advanced Business Development Course
May 15–17, 2009
BIO Executive Presentation Workshop
May 17, 2009
BIO Human Resources Conference
May 17-19, 2009
2009 BIO International Convention
May 18-21, 2009
June 9-10, 2009
World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
July 19-22, 2009
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.