Updated on 6 February 2015
Dr Margaret Hamburg, FDA Commissioner (PC: www.sanduskyregister.com)
Singapore: According to sources, Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr Margaret Hamburg is stepping down, ending her six-year tenure with the FDA.
Reportedly, Dr Hamburg had said in an interview to a news agency that it was her decision to leave, the agency because "this is a difficult and demanding job where you're buffeted by all sorts of points of view."
Dr Hamburg was one of the longest serving FDA commissioner and was nominated by the US President Mr Barack Obama, the Economic Times reported. Her temporary replacement will be the FDA's chief scientist, Dr Stephen Ostroff. Sources state that, one of the possible permanent successor is Mr Robert Califf of Duke University, whom Dr Hamburg had recently selected as her deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco.
"Six years in this job is really a lot," she said in an email to her colleagues. "When I took over, it was often described as an agency in crisis. I have been able to turn that around, to really improve morale and change the culture of the agency in some important ways. I hope that I have really made it a stronger and better place."
Under Hamburg's leadership the FDA had proposed measures to improve nutrition by limiting dangerous trans-fats in food and requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on menus. The agency had also introduced multiple measures to speed up the development and review of new drugs. The year 2014 saw the highest number of drug approvals in almost 20 years.