March 15,2006

Grassley on the Nomination of an FDA Commissioner


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Nomination of a new FDA commissioner
Da: Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the following
comment on the President’s nomination of acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner
Andrew von Eschenbach as his nominee to become the permanent commissioner of the agency. The
Senate must consider the nomination. Grassley has expressed concern about the agency’s handling
of several key issues, most recently whether it allowed a blood substitute study to proceed without
meaningful patient consent.

“The FDA has an enormous mission. It needs a permanent commissioner who’s willing and
able to take on its entrenched cultural problems and turn them around. That task is like turning
around an aircraft carrier, and it’ll take a very determined, reform-minded individual to do it. The
next commissioner can’t accept business as usual at an agency that protects the well-being of all
Americans. I look forward to learning more about Dr. von Eschenbach’s plans for assuring people
that they can trust what’s in their medicine cabinet. This nomination will offer a good opportunity
for the Senate to take a good look at how the FDA operates and I hope, to reward its successes and
address its shortcomings.”