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President Obama’s Nomination of Margaret Hamburg Brings Hope to Ailing FDA

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President Obama promised to overhaul the Food and Drug Administration, and the woman he nominated to fill the position just might finally get the job done. Margaret Hamburg, 53, was chosen Saturday by Obama and boasts a long line of credentials including former New York City Health Commissioner, assistant health secretary of the Clinton administration, senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard, and expert on bioterrorism. Her vast experience with public health policy, administration, and ability to implement and develop effective programs, which in her home state of New York reduced the rate of tuberculosis by 46% in five years, makes her a top candidate for consumer advocates and the pharmaceutical industry alike.

Despite her qualifications, Dr. Hamburg’s new job won’t be easy. She is grabbing hold of the reigns of an agency that has been scrutinized lately for a variety of reasons from being underfunded, to lack of food oversight and criticism for drug approvals. Furthermore, Dr. Hamburg will be in charge of a much-needed special advisory group created by President Obama that focuses on improving outdated food safety laws. Hopefully, Dr Hamburg’s leadership will provide the breath of fresh air the tarnished agency needs to turn things around.