The Food & Drug Administration announced on Jan. 5 that its deputy commissioner, Joshua Sharfstein, would be leaving to take over Maryland’s health department.
The next day, MedCity News floated the idea of Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen replacing him.
“A Nissen nomination would symbolically show that Obama won’t back down from a fight with Republicans ’ and perhaps temporarily quiet liberal base that sees him as at best too willing to cave to the GOP and at worst weak, ineffectual and just another opportunistic politician without any strong core beliefs,” the publication wrote.
Immediate reaction to the idea through social media was subdued. Some loved the idea and envisioned a feistier FDA with Nissen on board. But others called the idea a “lead balloon.” Another exclaimed: “I hope not!”
Below is a sampling of reaction that pulsed through Twitter in the past 24 hours.
- @cardiobrief Nissen mentioned as Sharfstein’s replacement, but the odds are very long: http://bit.ly/fyTlXD
- @adamfeuerstein: If Steven Nissen is named as J. Sharfstein’s replacement at FDA, the biotech/drug stocks will tank and never recover. (via @cardiobrief) $$
- @maverickny I hope Nissen gets the job, we need more spunk and rigour at the FDA not less
- @tabloidmed: Sharfstein’s FDA replacement: Why not Cleveland Clinic’s Steven Nissen? \: http://bit.ly/fXgEts Wonder who floated that lead balloon?
- @SMFleet Nissen should be named hot dog commissioner also.
- @RPMReportMike great piece on Nissen and FDA. Not gonna happen, but worth thinking about nevertheless.
- @ddwebster Oh, I hope not! RT @ChristianeTrue: RT @cardiobrief: Nissen mentioned as Sharfstein’s replacement-odds are very long http://bit.ly/fyTlXD
Coincidentally, on the same day MedCity News tossed Nissen’s name out as an FDA deputy, he was on air showing the kind of thinking that makes him worthy of consideration. He told Bloomberg that drugmakers need to make better drugs and not more of them.