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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 21, 1998


I am extremely pleased that today the Senate, with strong bipartisan support, overwhelmingly voted to confirm Dr. Jane E. Henney to be the next Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. I am confident that as the first woman and first oncologist to be confirmed as FDA Commissioner, Dr. Henney will live up to the trust the Senate has placed in her.

The nation now has an FDA Commissioner who is committed to assuring that Americans have safe food, safe and effective drugs and medical devices, and improved public health. Dr. Henney has blazed many trails and no one is more qualified to lead the FDA. She has served four Presidents and helped guide some of America's finest academic health centers. Her expertise in science and technology and lifelong dedication to individual patients will enable her to strike the important balance between the need for timely approval of prescription drugs and medical devices, while maintaining safety and quality.

I commend the Democrats and Republicans who worked to give Dr. Henney a full and fair hearing and help expedite this confirmation. I also want to thank representatives of consumers, physicians, nurses, and the industry for their steadfast and strong support for Dr. Henney. Their combined leadership made a vital contribution toward assuring we have the right person to lead the FDA into the 21st century.