US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg is going to step down from her post after giving almost six years of service that included overseeing new public health initiatives ranging from food safety to tobacco control and medical product approvals, according to a person involved in the matter.
According to the source, the White House is likely to announce Hamburg’s resignation on Friday.
When contacted for confirmation, FDA spokesperson Stephanie Yao declined to comment.
59-year-old Hamburg is one of the longest-serving commissioners of the federal agency in the modern era.
President Barack Obama nominated Hamburg, a long-time public health official, for FDA’s top post and she received confirmation by the US Senate in May 2009.
Hamburg, who graduated from Harvard Medical School, had also served as the National Institutes of Health before taking up the post health commissioner of New York City.
The federal health agency oversees products representing over 20 cents of every dollar that was spent by American consumers.
Under Hamburg’s leadership, the FDA proposed several measures for improving nutrition intake by the consumers by keeping control on dangerous trans-fats in food and asking restaurants and other types of food chains to post calorie counts on menus.
During her tenure, the federal agency has also introduced various measures to accelerate the process of development and review of new drugs. Last year, the FDA gave nod to 51 new drugs. This is the largest number in almost 20 years.
Acknowledging the FDA’s achievement in a blog post on Wednesday, Hamburg said, “The achievement is a testament to FDA’s innovative approaches to help expedite development and review of medical products that target unmet medical needs.”
During Hamburg’s tenure, the federal health agency has confronted severe public health issues, such as the deadly Ebola outbreak, the abuse of opioid painkillers, the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the emergence of electronic cigarettes and other infectious diseases.