FDA Appoints Acting Commissioner

Acting FDA Commissioner Sharpless supports e-cigarette restrictions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named Ned Sharpless acting commissioner.

Sharpless is the director of the National Cancer Institute and supports the FDA crackdown on e-cigarettes.

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“It will be an honor to advance the FDA’s critical public health mission,” said Sharpless.

According to The New York Times, the FDA has proposed reducing the level of nicotine in traditional cigarettes, tightening regulations on all e-cigarettes and other smoking alternatives, and banning on menthol cigarettes.

“Dr. Sharpless’s deep scientific background and expertise will make him a strong leader for FDA,” said Alex Azar III, secretary of health and human services. “There will be no let up in the agency’s focus, from ongoing efforts on drug approvals and combating the opioid crisis to modernizing food safety and addressing the rapid rise in youth use of e-cigarettes.”

According to Azar, Sharpless will replace Scott Gottlieb in early April.

Gottlieb has been FDA commissioner since May 2017 but recently resigned.

Azar said this is a temporary appointment and that the search for a permanent commissioner is underway. A successor must be nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate.