My Pick For FDA Chief Innovation Officer

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  • 04/19/2012

I like BIO CEO Jim Greenwood's proposal to give FDA a chief innovation officer who who would examine whether the number of drug rejections is reasonable, or whether it is stunting innovation and causing unwarranted delays.

“People who die because a product is not approved quickly enough are just as dead as those who die because a product is not safe,” Greenwood said. “It’s not just the job of the FDA to protect us, it’s also to promote innovation.”

My pick for the position:  Janet Woodcock.   No one (except for Bob Temple) could and has balanced these two missions better.  And no one has done more to promote personalized medicine, which allows products to more efficiently embody safety and innovation.

There are a lot of important bi-partisan ideas to accelerate the innovation process.  A chief innovation officer should not be a ceremonial add-on or be limited to reviewing product development after the fact.  That official could report to the Commissioner, search out and encourage companies with innovation products for fast track approval, be in on the development of products from the beginning.   That's something Dr. Woodcock would and could do effectively.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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