FDA Commish Joins Blogosphere

The blogging bandwagon just got a little bit bigger. Two weeks ago, FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach joined the millions of bloggers around the world.

Even though the FDA commish often complains that the agency is overworked and strapped for cash, he found the time to start what appears to be a relatively interesting peek inside the agency. Investors rarely get such a look at the FDA's psyche, thought process, and viewpoints on current events outside of advisory panel hearings, so "Andy's Take" -- also available as an MP3 podcast -- could provide some valuable insight about the FDA's leader.

In the blog's second post last week, von Eschenbach candidly discussed the FDA's role in the Baxter (NYSE: BAX  ) heparin recall, its efforts to prevent such drug contamination, and its plans to step up oversight of foreign drug manufacturers.

I'm generally pretty critical of some of the things going on at the FDA, like its continual missing of drug deadlines (CV Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CVTX  ) was only the most recent example), and its repeated requests for more funding this year after just getting a massive raise in PDUFA fees last year.

Since von Eschenbach took over as official FDA Commissioner in late 2006, and following last year's reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, the FDA's undergone many changes. Some have benefitted drugmakers and consumers; others were less helpful. Any extra openness from the agency, including "Andy's Take," will undoubtedly give investors a slightly better idea of how the agency works, and what chances drug candidates have of winning its approval. Sounds good to me.


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