ARTICLE | Politics, Policy & Law

Still twisting in the wind

June 20, 2005 7:00 AM UTC

Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford last week finally made it out of the frying pan into the fire. His nomination as FDA commissioner was voted out of the HELP Committee, but heavy lifting from the Republican leadership will be needed to overcome roadblocks raised by Democrats on the Senate floor. Indeed, the timing and outcome of a final vote on the confirmation will serve as a barometer of the intensity of interest among the Republican leadership and at the White House in FDA and the drug industry.

Following Crawford's exoneration by the HHS Office of Inspector General on anonymous charges of personal impropriety, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted last week to send the nomination to the Senate floor. But Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) voted against Crawford because of the agency's hand-ling of an application from Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. (BRL, Pomona, N.Y.) to market Plan B levonorgestrel contraceptive over the counter...