Dr. Stephen Hahn has been nominated to be the next commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Hahn is a cancer specialist who is currently the chief medical executive of MD Anderson, the famous cancer hospital in Houston. He previously worked for the National Cancer Institute and the University of Pennsylvania.
His thoughts on cigars, which the FDA has recently started regulating, are unknown.
“Under Dr. Sharpless’s leadership for the past seven months, FDA has forged ahead in its essential work of protecting the public health. Dr. Sharpless’s willingness to step into the role of Acting Commissioner, and to lead the team at FDA with a steady hand, ensured that the agency did not miss a beat in advancing its vital mission,” said Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services, in a statement. “With Dr. Sharpless at the helm, the FDA has executed on its core responsibilities while also making progress on key priorities, such as lowering the price of prescription drugs and tackling the growing epidemic of youth use of tobacco products. I am very grateful to have had Dr. Sharpless as a partner in these efforts.”
Hahn will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He will succeed Dr. Ned Sharpless, who has worked as acting commissioner for the last 210 days, the maximum allowed for a commissioner to work in an active capacity.
Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at HHS, will assume responsibility for FDA until Hahn is confirmed.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the previous head of FDA, resigned in March.