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As the Biden White House attempts to fashion its health policies, a coalition of consumer and patient advocacy groups is urging the administration not to tap Janet Woodcock, a long-standing Food and Drug Administration official, to head the embattled agency.

Woodcock is currently serving as acting FDA commissioner, but has at various times led the division that regulates medicines. For that reason, the groups maintained she played a key role in fomenting the opioid crisis, citing government reports that blamed the FDA in part for certain policies and a lack of oversight that contributed to the epidemic across the U.S.


She “presided over one of the worst regulatory agency failures in U.S. history,” the groups wrote to Xavier Becerra, Biden’s pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, and Norris Cochran, the acting agency head. “The fact that opioid manufacturers, for decades, disseminated false claims about the risks and benefits of opioids points to a dereliction of duty by the FDA division led by Dr. Woodcock.”

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  • personally, the disqualifier for Woodcock is the DMD drug approval debacle. The opioid issue is much more nuanced than most would like to believe – whatever blame the FDA bears is more gray than black and white.
    Agree a qualified outsider is preferred over a long time insider.

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