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FDA Reagan-Udall Board to Accelerate Science

Posted: November 16, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the appointment of board members and the chair for the Reagan-Udall Foundation. This private and independent nonprofit organization will reportedly advance the FDA's mission to modernize medical, veterinary, food, food ingredient and cosmetic product development, accelerate innovation, and enhance product safety.

"By supporting public-private partnerships and other scientific collaborations, the foundation will enrich the agency and provide critical perspectives for the future," said Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs, in a press statement. "As the FDA looks toward its future, the Reagan-Udall Foundation is in a unique position to understand, support and prepare the agency for that future.

"This foundation brings together an extraordinary group of leaders with diverse talents and experiences. The board members' combined backgrounds reflect the transformation and vision of FDA," added von Eschenbach.

In a demonstration of bipartisan support, the U.S. Congress mandated the foundation's creation in the FDA Amendments Act, passed in September 2007. The law requires that the foundation board of directors be established within 30 days and that it not include any federal employee.

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, director of the Engleberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution, former commissioner of FDA and former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will chair the foundation. McClellan said, in a press announcement, "The foundation is an unprecedented opportunity to enlist broad-based support to accelerate scientific progress to help FDA fulfill its mission of protecting and promoting the public health—a mission that is more challenging but more important than ever.