Cary Byrd of supports Peter Rost — who has made a reputation as whistle blower, muckraker, and Pfizer nemesis — for FDA Commissioner!

“It should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that we are delighted about the prospect of a new FDA commissioner in 2009 — one who we hope will put the interests of the people above those of large pharmaceutical companies,” says Byrd. “We have also been pleasantly surprised to see the groundswell of public support for Pfizer whistleblower Dr. Peter Rost for the FDA’s top job.”

By “groundswell of public support” Byrd is referring to my “Who Should Obama Nominate for FDA Commissioner?” survey, which has about 300 respondents so far. I’ve covered some highlights of the results of this survey a few days ago (see “Meet the Person Likely to be the Next FDA Commissioner“).

In return for Byrd’s support, Rost has answered a few questions about how he would handle the commissioner’s job. See Byrd’s interview of Rost here.

Just for the record, I personally endorse Susan Wood (see “Susan Wood: “The One to Take the Lead” of the FDA“). I have corresponded with Ms. Wood and asked her to respond to the following questions:

  • Should the FDA be given authority to control tobacco and nicotine as a drug?
  • Should the FDA have more resources and use them to bolster inspections of imported food and drug products and allow re-importation of cheaper Rx drugs?
  • Should the FDA be given authority to review and approve generic versions of biologic drugs?
  • Should the FDA preemption of consumer lawsuits against drug companies be eliminated?
  • (my favorite) Should the FDA issue specific guidance on the use of the Internet for the promotion of Rx drugs?

So far, I have not heard back from her on these specific issues, but regarding the possibility that she could be nominated, she did say “I apprecitate (sic) your support for such a hypothetical situation”.

NOTE: Among respondents to my survey who say they are very or somewhat supportive of the pharmaceutical industry, Rost comes in 5th behind Nissen, Wood, Woodcock, and Califf.

Take the survey here and vote for your choice.