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Capitol Health Call
September 14, 2005

Crawford to Lead FDA

JAMA. 2005;294(10):1201. doi:10.1001/jama.294.10.1201-b

Lester M. Crawford, DVM, PhD, was confirmed by the Senate as the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 18.

Crawford has been the acting commissioner since March 2004, when Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD, left the post to become the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He previously served as the agency’s deputy commissioner.

Although President Bush nominated Crawford for commissioner in February, a senate vote to determine his confirmation was delayed after three senators put a hold on the vote. Sen Patty Murray (D, Wash) and Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton (D, NY) did so pending an FDA decision on the over-the-counter emergency contraceptive, Plan B, but released the hold after Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said the agency would make a decision by September 1. Sen Tom Coburn (R, Wyo) had also put a hold on the nomination because he contends that the FDA should change the labels on condoms to clarify their effectiveness; he also removed his hold.