Durbin Does ‘Not Have Confidence’ New FDA Head Will Satisfactorily Address Teen Vaping Epidemic
Former Commissioner Scott Gottlieb had deemed the issue a public health epidemic, but Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) accused acting chief Ned Sharpless of not taking it as seriously.
Durbin Alarmed That New FDA Chief May 'Disappoint' On E-Cigs
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) charged in an unusually sharp attack Wednesday that acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless seemed to have "no intention" of addressing youth e-cigarette use, which his predecessor deemed a public health epidemic. His May 14 meeting with Sharpless was "one of the most alarming and disappointing meetings in my time in public service," the No. 2 Senate Democrat wrote in a letter to Sharpless, a longtime cancer researcher who took the top FDA post in April as Scott Gottlieb left. (Owermohle, 5/29)
Durbin Urges Acting FDA Chief To Crack Down On E-Cigarettes
“It is my belief that any person leading the FDA … must, first and foremost, feel a deep sense of responsibility to protect the health and well-being of all Americans, especially our nation’s children. Unfortunately, based on our meeting, I do not have confidence that you are that leader,” Durbin said. Durbin urged Sharpless not to appeal a federal judge’s ruling earlier this month that would require the agency to speed up its review of thousands of e-cigarettes on the market “We know that kids are attracted to these products because of the kid-friendly flavors that your agency is currently, and inexplicably, refusing to regulate,” Durbin wrote. “You have the explicit authority to end FDA’s senseless decision to suspend public health review of e-cigarettes and cigars and take action today.” (Weixel, 5/29)