HELP Committee to Examine FDA's Performance Thursday

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, headed by Chairman Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, is scheduled to conduct a hearing Thursday about how to improve the performance of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern and will be available via webcast.

An advisory posted on the committee's site says the first witness will be someone from FDA, but the person was unidentified as of Monday afternoon. Other scheduled witnesses are William K. Hubbard, former FDA associate commissioner for Policy and Planning; J. Glenn Morris, Jr., director, Emerging Pathogens Institute, at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.; Bob Brackett, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief scientific and regulatory affairs officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association in Washington, D.C.; and Gerald Migliaccio, vice president of Quality, EHS and Agility for Pfizer Inc., Peapack, N.J.

FDA has faced criticism in recent years over its handling of drug approvals. Visit the committee's Web site, http://help.senate.gov/, for a link to the webcast.

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