Following confirmation of Lester Crawford’s new role as US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner [[20/07/05c]], the agency has unveiled a series of high-level appointments as part of its bid to “create an even more efficient and compact central organisation.”

Scott Gottlieb, who has authored articles for PharmaTimes Magazine, returns to the agency as Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs. Dr Gottlieb was previously special advisor to former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, now Medicare chief [[23/02/04d]], and most recently worked as a Resident Fellow of think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute.

Janet Woodcock, who was Acting Deputy Commissioner, will become Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Chief Operating Officer, responsible for managing agency-wide scientific and regulatory processes. In addition, Murray Lumpkin is named Deputy Commissioner for International and Special Programs, overseeing various subsections of the FDA and co-ordinating the agency’s response to national public health issues.

- Meanwhile, in an attempt to build public confidence, the FDA has pointed to the recent discovery of fake Lipitor (atorvastatin) in the UK [[29/07/05e]], in saying: “Americans need to be very careful when buying drugs outside of the US drug distribution system. The American drug supply system is in fact a very safe one that consumers can count on.” The country is facing a battle of wills, with many individuals seeking cheaper medication across the border in Canada and elsewhere [[27/01/05g]].