Press Release

PhRMA Applauds Confirmation of New FDA Leader

PhRMA May 19, 2009

Washington, D.C. (May 19, 2009) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Billy Tauzin issued the following statement today regarding the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of a new Food and Drug Administration leader:

“The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) congratulates Dr. Margaret Hamburg as the newly confirmed Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Dr. Hamburg, who will provide strong leadership for a patient-focused, science-based agency that regulates more than one-quarter of all products that Americans consume.

“A permanent FDA Commissioner helps to enhance the Agency’s ability to protect and promote public health. Dr. Hamburg brings valuable skills to meet current and future challenges faced by the FDA.

“Consistent FDA leadership is a crucial step in helping to ensure that Americans continue to have access to safe and effective medicines.

“The FDA has been a cornerstone in the country’s fight to improve the health of all Americans. Due to the vital nature of the FDA’s public health oversight, the Agency needs a strong, independent leader who embraces the need to advocate for an empowered FDA that is adequately resourced to carry out its crucial mission. We fully anticipate that Dr. Hamburg will be instrumental in driving the Agency forward in similar fashion. We look forward to working with the new commissioner in helping to assure patients have access to a steady supply of new and innovative medicines to address unmet medical needs.

“Dr. Hamburg brings managerial skills that are essential for directing science-based activities at an Agency that has just expanded its ranks with hundreds of new employees. These skills are particularly important to an Agency that is striving to implement groundbreaking reforms to better position itself to tackle future challenges, including modernizing FDA methods for evaluating safety and efficacy throughout a product’s life cycle.

“The new leadership will be tasked with deftly implementing newly granted authorities, and prioritizing the allocation of bolstered Congressional appropriations and enhanced user fees paid by America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies.

“FDA’s commissioner also will work with diverse partners, including researchers, Congress, the White House, patients and pharmaceutical research companies on such measures as the Critical Path Initiative, which propels the agency into the 21st Century by improving the scientific bases for product development and manufacture.

“As our nation’s leaders strive to improve our healthcare system, America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies – which lead the world in discovering new cures and treatments for patients – welcome the opportunity to help address the difficult healthcare challenges facing America.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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