Advocacy Groups Send Biden Letter Opposing McMurry-Heath as FDA Head

October 14, 2021

More than two dozen advocacy groups have sent a letter to President Biden, urging him not to nominate Michelle McMurry-Heath, CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), for the role of FDA commissioner.

“[We] are writing to voice our strong opposition to Dr. McMurry-Heath as a candidate for FDA commissioner and to urge you to select for this critical federal public health position someone with demonstrated independence from Big Pharma,” the groups said.

They contend that serving as head of a large industry trade association is disqualifying since McMurry-Health has represented the interests of hundreds of FDA-regulated companies rather than representing the interests of public health.

“BIO has opposed your administration’s efforts to lower drug prices and endorsed other policies contrary to the public interest,” continued the groups, including Public Citizen and Social Security Works, noting that McMurry-Heath has held numerous other industry leadership positions, including at Johnson & Johnson, which they claim “helped fuel America’s ongoing opioid crisis.”

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