Devices & Diagnostics

FDA chief names Spielberg to new medical products post

FDA chief Dr. Margaret Hamburg is shuffling the deck at the federal watchdog agency, naming a former pediatrician and pharma executive to the new post of deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco. Dr. Stephen Spielberg, a pediatrician who’s the former dean of Dartmouth Medical School, has deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Until he […]

FDA chief Dr. Margaret Hamburg is shuffling the deck at the federal watchdog agency, naming a former pediatrician and pharma executive to the new post of deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco.

Dr. Stephen Spielberg, a pediatrician who’s the former dean of Dartmouth Medical School, has deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Until he was tapped by Hamburg, he was director of personalized medicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Spielberg put in a six-year stint as Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) vice president for pediatric drug development, after a tenure in senior positions at Merck & Co.’s (NYSE:MRK) research laboratories. He’s also the former chairman of PhRMA’s pediatric task force.

Spielberg told the Wall Street Journal that he got to know Hamburg while serving on the FDA’s scientific advisory board in the past two years. His first day on the job is TBD, he told the newspaper. He’ll oversee the centers for drugs, medical devices, biological products and tobacco, but not the agency’s food regulation operations (deputy commissioner Michael Taylor will retain those duties, according to the Journal).

“The new organizational alignments more accurately reflect the agency’s responsibilities, subject matter expertise and mandates in an ever more complex world, where products and services do not fit into a single category,” Hamburg wrote in an internal memo, according to Healthcare Business News.

Hamburg also promoted Deborah Autor from director of FDA drug center’s compliance office to deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and policy. Deputy commissioner for international programs Murray Lumpkin was named senior adviser and representative for global issues and acting principal deputy commissioner John Taylor will stay on as a counselor in Hamburg’s office.

The Massachusetts Medical Devices Journal is the online journal of the medical devices industry in the Commonwealth and New England, providing day-to-day coverage of the devices that save lives, the people behind them, and the burgeoning trends and developments within the industry.

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