It could have been worse -- President Obama could have assigned the top spot at the Food and Drug Administration to Steven Nissen, killer of GlaxoSmithKline's
Instead, it went to Margaret Hamburg. While she's no foe to the industry as far as I can tell, the pick seems to signify that the president is interested in the agency turning its focus toward protecting American's health -- she was previously the New York City health chief. After the tainted peanut butter outbreak, I can see why the president might find that a popular theme, but it's not likely to help health care investors.
Fortunately, as data parsed by fellow Fool Brian Lawler showed, the FDA chief doesn't have a large effect on the number of truly new drugs that enter the market. The commissioner might affect the approval of individual controversial drugs like Barr's -- now Teva Pharmaceuticals'
Still, it would have been nice to get a head honcho that would light a fire under the drug reviewers -- we're still waiting for a decision about Eli Lilly's
Or should I say s-t-a-a-t-u-u-s s-l-l-o-o-o-o-w-w.
What do you think? Will the new FDA comish have a positive or negative effect on the sector? Let us know what you think by voting in the poll below. Then leave a comment telling us why.
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