FDA aims to hire 1,300 by October

In answer to its critics, FDA is mounting a major hiring push to expand its drug safety operations. By October, it hopes to add 1,300 to its payroll--600 new positions and 700 vacancies that have lain unfilled. According to the agency, that's almost three times the number hired during the past three fiscal years.

Who should apply? Potential medical officers, chemists, biologists, microbiologists, epidemiologists, pharmacologists, nurse consultants, general health scientists, and more. The agency will be holding job fairs across the country to troll for job candidates. Plus, FDA got special hiring authority so it can make quick decisions; new hires could be on the job within three weeks.

You'll recall that the FDA's Science Board--and Congressional investigators and other watchdogs--consider the agency seriously understaffed. But hiring these specialized types is no easy task; Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach said at a recent Senate hearing that it couldn't absorb a recommended $375 million in extra funding in one year because it's so time-consuming to recruit and train new employees.

- see the FDA's release
- check out USA Today's story
- read the article in the Wall Street Journal

ALSO: FDA is working with computer services firm Epocrates to step up doctors' reporting of adverse events, errors, and product quality problems. Release

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