Hahn Fields Queries On Electrical Stim Devices, Molybdenum Supplies For Imaging At FDA Confirmation Hearing
MD Anderson Cancer Center chief medical officer Stephen Hahn fielded a number of questions senators asked at his 20 November confirmation hearing to lead the US FDA. Chief among them were inquiries about his government experience level, whether he would expedite a ban on electrical stimulation devices used against the intellectually disabled, and how he would address a shortage of molybdenum-99 used in advanced imaging scans.
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The US agency has banned the use of electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) to prevent self-injurious or aggressive behavior. The ban was first recommended at a 2014 FDA panel hearing and is widely supported by the disability community. The move by the agency is rare; it’s only the third time a medical device has been completely blocked from use in the US.
Among Stephen Hahn’s priorities and long-term ambitions for his time at the US agency are retaining and recruiting the best possible professional staff, and collection and use of data, regulatory consultants and attorneys say.
The US Senate on a 72-18 vote approved radiation oncologist Stephen Hahn as Commissioner of the FDA on 12 December. Voting “no” were a block of liberal Democrats, including the ranking member of a key Senate health committee. Industry advocates and most senators said Hahn is an excellent choice to lead the FDA, but some fear he will not move quickly enough to ban candy flavors in vaping products favored by teens.