Von Eschenbach To Resign From National Cancer Institute
Acting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach on Thursday announced he will resign from his position as director of the National Cancer Institute, Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/7).
President Bush in March nominated von Eschenbach to become permanent head of the agency. He was appointed acting commissioner for FDA in September 2005 after then-Commissioner Lester Crawford's unexpected resignation (American Health Line, 3/16).
Some lawmakers and consumer groups criticized von Eschenbach for continuing his duty at NCI while acting as temporary FDA commissioner, stating that both agencies needed full-time leaders. The Senate must vote to confirm von Eschenbach before he can take the position permanently (Richwine, Reuters, 4/6).
Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- N.Y.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have said they will block the confirmation vote until FDA makes a decision on whether to allow over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B (Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/7).
On Thursday, von Eschenbach declined to answer questions about Plan B or the confirmation process (Reuters, 4/6).