Ned Sharpless, the director of the US’ National Cancer Institute, is expected to be named as the temporary chief of the Food and Drug Administration, according to a storyby Anna Edney for Bloomberg News.
Sharpless is due to serve as acting head of the agency when commissioner Scott Gottlieb leaves later this year, the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was quoted as saying at an appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Edney said that the appointment of Sharpless could allay the concerns of health advocates that Gottlieb’s departure would signal a let-up in the FDA’s crackdown on flavored electronic cigarettes and teen smoking. Sharpless has apparently supported Gottlieb’s efforts to stem what the commissioner has called an “epidemic” of smoking among young people.
In addition, Edney said, the National Cancer Institute had worked closely with the FDA to fund research related to e-cigarette use, including the device’s impact on smoking cessation.