WASHINGTON — The United States Senate voted, 72-18, on Thursday to confirm Dr. Stephen Hahn as Commissioner of Food and Drugs. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:
“I congratulate Dr. Hahn and thank the Senate for prioritizing his nomination. President Trump has chosen a superbly qualified leader for FDA, and Dr. Hahn garnered strong bipartisan support. Having a confirmed FDA Commissioner of Dr. Hahn’s caliber will be a major boost to the already rapid pace of the President’s aggressive public health agenda. Dr. Hahn brings an impressive set of scientific and leadership qualifications to the job, and I look forward to seeing the FDA and its people thrive under his leadership. I am also grateful to Admiral Brett Giroir and Dr. Ned Sharpless for their dedicated work as Acting Commissioners and for their enduring commitment to public health.”
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) also released the following statement:
“CHPA congratulates Dr. Hahn on his confirmation today as the 24th Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Commissioner Hahn’s experience as a practicing oncologist, researcher, and former chief medical officer of the MD Anderson Cancer Center make him well-suited to his new role at the helm of FDA. We look forward to working with Commissioner Hahn on ensuring consumer access to safe, effective and affordable self-care treatment options, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices.
“At a time when consumers are demanding different kinds of self-care products to meet their individual needs, modern regulatory systems that protect consumer health and promote responsible innovation are incredibly important. Over the last couple of years, there has been great progress made toward modernizing the OTC Monograph system, the regulatory structure that oversees the majority of OTC medicines. It is our sincere hope that the U.S. House of Representatives will soon pass OTC Monograph reform so we can see this shared FDA-CHPA priority through to fruition. We are also hopeful that under Commissioner Hahn’s leadership, FDA will issue the long-awaited proposal for increasing access to OTC medicines using innovative approaches that enable more prescription-to-OTC switches. This kind of thoughtful, creative regulatory approach could expand consumer choice and access to affordable nonprescription drugs by using digital technologies or other conditions to assure consumer safe use.
“Additionally, we look forward to working with Commissioner Hahn on ways to strengthen both regulation and enforcement of dietary supplements. This includes not only an updated dietary supplement regulatory framework, but also decisive FDA action around CBD. CHPA urges the Agency to exercise its existing statutory authority to establish a clear pathway for manufacturers to lawfully market CBD in dietary supplements, while also continuing to go after bad actors.”