The new commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration has a lot on his plate, the New York Times editorial board writes.
It adds that critics have for years been concerned about "slipping" standards at FDA. For instance, the Times editorial says drug and medical device approvals now are often based on less data and that products like those containing CBD are sold with little oversight. It traces the root of some of these issues to the agency's need for additional resources, but also says FDA has become "vulnerable to political interference and other special interests," particularly a push for increased deregulation.
Stephen Hahn, who was confirmed as the new FDA commissioner last month, will now have to take on these and other issues. But the Times editorial points out that Hahn, who previously was the chief medical executive of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has had little policy experience. It offers him four pieces of advice: to publicly discuss his policy goals and foster transparency; to re-examine recent changes to drug and medical device approval standards; to ensure scientific evidence is the final factor in agency decisions; and to keep to deadlines it has announced for issuing guidelines and other regulatory actions.