Report: Sharfstein to leave FDA

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Food and Drug Administration principal deputy commissioner Joshua Sharfstein will leave the agency to become head of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, according to published reports.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Sharfstein, the FDA’s top official after commissioner Margaret Hamburg, had received an invitation to head the state health department from Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Before assuming his position at the FDA, Sharfstein served as head of the Baltimore City Health Department.

It was in that capacity that Sharfstein filed a Citizen’s Petition to restrict the recommendation of pediatric cough-cold medicines to children older than age 6 years. More recently, Sharfstein stood alongside Council for Responsible Nutrition president and CEO Steve Mister and other supplement industry representatives in announcing a crack-down on those Internet companies distributing adulterated pharmaceutical products marketed as dietary supplements.

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