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Senate Holds Hearing on FDA Nominee Jane Henney

If approved by the Senate, doctor and cancer researcher Jane E. Henney, 51, will become the first woman to head the FDA. Henney served as deputy commissioner for operations at the FDA, was interim dean at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and is currently vice president for health sciences at the University of New Mexico. She has been endorsed by the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, former HHS secretary Louis B. Bullivan, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), and others. The AMA’s statement on Henney’s nomination read “rarely have the responsibilities of a demanding position so perfectly matched the abilities of its nominee.” The Senate Committee will question Henney today. One of the questions she was given in preparation for today’s meeting asks whether the FDA’s requirement that drugs be safe and effective should be applied to embryos in instances where women seek medical abortion using mifepristone, formerly known as RU 486. Henney has replied in writing that the FDA “evaluated the safety and effectiveness of RU 486 for its intended user: pregnant women who wish to terminate their pregnancies.”

Sources:

Washington Post - September 2, 1998