Gupta is also expected to play a leading role in guiding the FDA’s communications strategy, serving as its public face on high-profile issues and trying to build confidence in the agency’s health recommendations.
Currently Amazon’s chief medical officer of new products, Gupta has raised his national profile over the past two years as a medical analyst and frequent TV commentator on the Covid pandemic. He was also part of a panel of health experts advising President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and transition on the pandemic response.
An FDA spokeswoman declined to comment. Gupta also declined to comment.
The search for a top adviser comes as the FDA takes a central role in simultaneous efforts to fight the pandemic, ease shortages of infant formula and protect access to abortion. But the agency has repeatedly stumbled in its messaging on these issues to the public and to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Those difficulties have fueled a belief in the Biden administration that FDA Commissioner Robert Califf needs a higher level of support, people familiar with the matter said.
In recent months, Califf has struggled to explain the FDA’s sluggish response to the baby formula crisis, which has frustrated Democratic lawmakers and tarnished the agency’s reputation.
“There were a lot of warning signs about this crisis,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said at a hearing in May, where several lawmakers pressed Calif on the agency’s actions. “And it looks like the people in charge of security and delivery here just blew every one of them.”
The FDA has also faced criticism for taking a long time to evaluate Covid vaccines for the nation’s youngest children. It offered mixed messages for the delay, which has fueled confusion and anxiety among parents trying to protect their children as the nation increasingly loosens Covid restrictions.
And after the Supreme Court struck it down Roe v. Wade, it took several hours for the FDA to issue an official response. In it, the agency said that “patients should have access to medicines that are safe and effective for their FDA-approved uses.” The FDA offered no further details, despite Biden’s assurances that the agency will play a leading role in protecting and increasing access to the abortion pill.
In addition to post managementRoe As a result, the agency is preparing to launch another round of Covid vaccinations this fall aimed at protecting against Omicron sub-variants. The FDA has also moved to ban e-cigarettes made by vaping giant Juul and drastically cut nicotine levels in cigarettes — major policy decisions that have sparked political and industry opposition and have already been blocked by the courts.
Gupta’s planned hire would be one in a series of high-profile additions to the FDA over the past few weeks. Hillary Marston, a former member of the White House’s Covid response team, is joining the FDA this month as Calif’s chief medical officer. Johns Hopkins University pharmacologist Namanje Bumpus will begin work as the agency’s chief scientist in August.
Gupta will primarily be tasked with improving the FDA’s image and building public trust in the agency as a public health authority, as well as serving as Caliph’s chief adviser on various policy issues.
Calif has expressed concern about the public’s trust in government when it comes to health care, recently declaring misinformation the nation’s “leading cause of death” and calling for more aggressive action to combat it.
The role of chief medical adviser could evolve again after the expected retirement of Chief Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock, a longtime health official whom Biden once tapped to run the FDA. Woodcock recently told colleagues that he would likely leave the agency by the end of the year.
Califf also eventually plans to hire a senior adviser to oversee the FDA’s food policy operations over the formula shortage, a person with knowledge of the matter said, but no final candidate to lead the revamp has yet emerged.
NBC expert Vin Gupta, a public health expert, is in line for a top job in the Biden administration
Source link NBC expert Vin Gupta, a public health expert, is in line for a top job in the Biden administration