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Category: FDA

Senator Recommends Peter Rost As FDA Commish
By Pharmalot
December 04, 2008

For the past month, a favorite sport among some Washington insiders and, certainly, the pharmaceutical world has been trying to figure out who will succeed the unflappable Andy von Eschenbach as FDA commissioner. Would it be the FDA’s own Janet Woodcock? Baltimore health commissioner Josh Sharfstein? Duke’s Robert Califf? Harvard’s David Blumenthal? Or maybe Cleveland Clinic’s Steve Nissen?

Now, US Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, is nominating several candidates for the post and one of them is…. drumroll…. Peter Rost, the former marketing exec who is embroiled in a whistleblower lawsuit with Pfizer (look here) and gained notoriety for stumping in Washington DC - with Brown at his side - in favor of importing lower-cost drugs from Canada. Brown’s legislative director, who has been in touch with Rost, confirms that the senator is sending a letter of recommendation on behalf of Rost, as well as several other candidates “whom he believes merit consideration for the post.”

Subject: RE: Senator Brown
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 13:58:07 -0500
From: Eleanor_Dehoney@brown.senate.gov
To: rostpeter@hotmail.com

Excellent. Thanks!

From: Peter Rost [mailto:rostpeter@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 1:57 PM
To: Dehoney, Eleanor (Brown)
Subject: RE: Senator Brown

Thank you soooooo much!
Attached is my CV.


Subject: RE: Senator Brown
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 12:46:31 -0500
From: Eleanor_Dehoney@brown.senate.gov
To: Eleanor_Dehoney@brown.senate.gov; rostpeter@hotmail.com

Peter, would you mind sending me a copy of your resume?

- - -

From: Dehoney, Eleanor (Brown)
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:37 PM
To: ‘Peter Rost’

Subject: RE: Senator Brown

Hi Peter, Sherrod is going to do a letter of recommendation to send to the right folks on the transition team. Will try to get it out the door today or Friday.

From: Peter Rost [mailto:rostpeter@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 1:54 PM
To: Dehoney, Eleanor (Brown)
Subject: RE: Senator Brown

Dear Ellie,

Thanks for your offer to assist!

Specifically I’d like to be considered for FDA Commissioner, and I figured that for this position I need to also ask the people in the Senate that I’ve worked with in the past for help, so that my name is forwarded to the right decision makers with a recommendation. I have also filled out the online application.

In short my position is that the FDA needs some serious change and so does our national healthcare policy:

1. The FDA needs to work for the people, not the drug companies. This means speedier drug warnings and removal of unsafe drugs.
2. Limit direct-to-consumer drug advertising which creates demand for inappropriate treatment (i.e. Vioxx)
3. Reimportation of drugs should be regulated and legalized, to minimize sale of unsafe Internet drugs and increase choice for low income patients.
4. Hundreds of unapproved drugs sold illegally but openly because the FDA doesn’t “have time” to enforce the law is unacceptable, see USA Today article.
5. The agency needs to be managed more efficiently and focus better on what makes a difference to the health and well being of American citizens.

By the way, there is an ongoing online poll among pharmaceutical employees, academics and bloggers and journalists about who should become the next FDA Commissioner, started by Pharma Marketing. For results see this . . . I appear to be leading even among the responders most positive to the drug industry!

Please let me know if I can give you any further information.


- - -

Subject: Senator Brown
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 10:35:34 -0500
From: Eleanor_Dehoney@brown.senate.gov
To: rostpeter@hotmail.com

Hi Peter, I’m Senator Brown’s Legislative Director. Sherrod asked me to follow up on your letter expressing interest in a position within the Obama Administration. You probably know (but I didn’t!) that all candidates have to fill out the initial form on http://change.gov/page/s/application. Please let me know if we can be helpful in any way.

Ellie Dehoney
Legislative Director
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
(202) 224-4032