Senate confirms Dr. von Eschenbach as FDA commissioner

December 21, 2006

Urologist Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, has been confirmed by the Senate as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Urologist Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, has been confirmed by the Senate as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. von Eschenbach has been the acting FDA commissioner since September 2005, and this action makes his position permanent.

Dr. von Eschenbach was formally nominated as commissioner in March, but his confirmation was delayed by objections from both Democratic and Republican senators over the agency’s delay of Plan B emergency contraceptives and the administration’s stance on drug reimportation.

Dr. von Eschenbach was the founding director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and is the former director of the National Cancer Institute. He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his residency in urologic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, and was an instructor in urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.