FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford, DVM, PhD, has resigned after less than 3 months on the job. Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, has been named acting FDA commissioner. In an e-mail to his staff, Dr. Crawford did not cite any specific reason for his departure except that it was time "to step aside." His resignation comes at a time marked by heavy criticism of the agency. His recent decision to delay Barr Laboratories' application to give emergency contraception OTC status, for example, came under heavy criticism. The FDA also stirred controversies in its slow response to recognize the safety concerns of painkillers like Merck's Vioxx, which was taken off the market in 2004; the shutdown of a British supplier of the US flu vaccine for tainted shots; and the recalls of malfunctioning heart devices.
Eileen Koutnik-Fotopoulos: Staff Writer, Pharmacy Times