Drug Industry Torpedoes Pick For FDA Chief

The Food and Drug Administration has been leaderless since George W. Bush took office 16 months ago. The Boston Globe reports that Bush administration's latest pick for FDA commissioner, Dr. Alastair J. J. Wood, was derailed by the pharmaceutical industry. "If Wood became commissioner, one influential industry ally wrote in a conservative online magazine, the FDA's message to patients wanting life-saving drugs would be: 'Drop dead.' The article said Wood was obsessed with drug-safety review and, applying the coup de grace, announced that he was 'a buddy of Senator Ted Kennedy' -- even though Wood had never met or spoken to the Massachusetts Democrat. Within days, the White House dumped Wood," the Globe's Michael Kranish writes.