US Pharm. 2009'34(4):8.Washington, DC -- President Obama has chosen Dr. Margaret Hamburg to head up the FDA. Dr. Hamburg is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and the former New York City health commissioner. The 54-year-old Hamburg was one of the youngest people ever elected to the Institute of Medicine. During her tenure as New York's health commissioner, she was known for developing programs that helped control the spread of tuberculosis and AIDS. Obama also appointed Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the current health
commissioner in Baltimore, as the FDA's deputy commissioner. The appointments come at a crucial time at the FDA. The agency has been criticized for its handling of several risky drug approvals that were ultimately recalled and a number of tainted food incidents, including a deadly outbreak of salmonella in peanut products. Hamburg's appointment still needs to be confirmed by the Senate.