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FDA Nominee Says That He Is Not Influenced By Politics

Von Eschenbach, nominated to run the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said that he was not being subjected to political pressure while scientific decisions were being made//. He further stated that apart from the safety and effectiveness of medical endeavors, the appropriateness should also be taken into consideration.

Dr. Andrew Eschenbach, acting administrator of the FDA and Director of National Cancer Institute, would not be nominated until the FDA reached a consensus regarding access of the Plan B contraceptive, produced by Barr Pharmaceutical's. Lester Crawford, Eschenbach's predecessor, was forced to resign under similar situations, last September.

'I have not been restrained or constrained. Scientific activities do not occur in a vacuum ... We need to continue the discussion and the deliberation of what are some of the implications of these scientific discoveries," he said, adding that society must also weigh in. We are moving toward an effort to bring the full fruits of this biomedical research enterprise to patients as rapidly ... as possible, ensuring the balance between what is effective, and what is safe and what is appropriate,' said at the annual meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists, held at Houston.

Dr. Crawford, before he left said that marketing Plan B cannot be accomplished without sorting of regulatory issues by the FDA. Furthermore, he regarded that over the counter sales of Plan B to those above 17 or older was safe.

Critics, who are against this plan, argue that it will lead to unfavorable sexual behavior and increase the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Plan B is said to be effective in preventing pregnancy, if taken in less than 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse, Supporters of Plan B, however state that it can drastically reduce the abortion rates.

In view of the above situation, it is high time that an agreement regarding Pl an B is arrived at, irrespective of the nomination.


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