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Senate Confirms Hahn as FDA Commissioner


"Dr. Hahn can now get to work approving new life-saving drugs and devices, regulating tobacco and e-cigarettes, addressing the opioid crisis, ensuring pain patients can receive the medications they need and protecting our nation's food supply." - Senator Lamar Alexander

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that "Dr. Stephen Hahn's experience as a practicing oncologist, a successful leader of the MD Anderson Cancer Center and work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) make him the right leader for the FDA at this critical time."

Dr. Hahn was confirmed by the Senate today by a bipartisan vote of 72-18 to serve as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Dr. Hahn has extensive medical and research experience and is a proven leader in large health systems--all around, he is exactly the type of nominee we want to lead an agency as important as the FDA," Alexander said. "The Senate health committee I chair received sixteen letters of support for Dr. Hahn representing more than 80 organizations on behalf of doctors, patients, researchers, and from his colleagues. Dr. Hahn has also received support from five previous FDA commissioners, who served under Presidents Trump, Obama and Bush."

"Dr. Hahn can now get to work approving new life-saving drugs and devices, regulating tobacco and e-cigarettes, addressing the opioid crisis, ensuring pain patients can receive the medications they need and protecting our nation's food supply."

Alexander is chairman of the Senate health committee which has jurisdiction over confirmation of the FDA commissioner. Alexander chaired Dr. Hahn's confirmation hearing on November 20, and the committee approved his nomination on December 3 by a bipartisan vote of 18-5. Alexander today voted in favor of Dr. Hahn's nomination.

Dr. Hahn has previously served as the chief medical executive at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is board certified in both medical oncology and radiation oncology, specializing over the course of his career on prostate, bladder, kidney, testicular, and lung cancers and sarcoma.

AACR Applauds Confirmation of Stephen M. Hahn, MD, as FDA Commissioner

Hahn has shown a commitment to science-directed and patient-focused policies

PHILADELPHIA -- The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the world's first and largest cancer research organization, commends the U.S. Senate for confirming Stephen M. Hahn to be the next commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hahn was approved in the U.S. Senate on Thursday by a vote of 72-18.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and the 44,000 laboratory researchers, physician-scientists, other health care professionals, and patient advocates who constitute our national and international membership, I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Hahn," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. "The AACR is looking forward to working closely with him and his extraordinary team at the FDA to help facilitate and expedite the development and approval of safe and effective treatments for cancer patients."

Hahn has been a member of the AACR since 1999. He was an inaugural member of the AACR Radiation Science and Medicine Working Group Steering Committee and the AACR Radiation Oncology Task Force. Hahn is a member of the AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award Scientific Review Committee. He served in 2018 as cochair of the Workshop on Clinical Development of Drug-Radiotherapy Combinations held in partnership with the FDA, the AACR, and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

"Dr. Hahn brings impressive qualifications to this extremely important position, including his background as a highly regarded physician and extremely effective scientific administrator," said AACR President Elaine R. Mardis, PhD, co-executive director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Dr. Hahn understands the challenges that patients face every day, and also knows firsthand the importance of utilizing scientific-based evidence to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new therapies and devices."

Through its synergistic partnership with the FDA, the AACR has provided thought leadership, scientific guidance, and feedback to the FDA on a number of important scientific topics and initiatives, and the AACR looks forward to continuing this strong partnership under Commissioner Hahn.


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