Kindler: Take politics out of the FDA

Last week we told you about GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty's (photo) sit-down with the Financial Times. Today, it's Jeffrey Kindler (photo), Pfizer's chief. In a series of videos on the FT website, Kindler talks FDA leadership, industry challenge and company strategy. Like the folks watching FDA's performance in China, Kindler is hoping the new U.S. administration will beef up the agency. Not only that; he'd also like the president to allow FDA types to work independently, "so that we get science-based decisions, not political decisions." Zing!

And that's not Kindler's only FDA beef. There's been too much turnover at the top of the agency, to his mind, and he'd like the next FDA commissioner to stick around long enough to really "exercise leadership" and "to have real scientific credibility." Are you listening, presidential candidates?

Meanwhile, like many of us regular folks, Kindler is worried that the U.S. faces some enormous challenges in the near term. The economy. Energy. The war. The financial markets. And because the government will have to keep all these balls in the air, healthcare reform, he fears, is likely to drop to the wayside. This, despite the fact that politicians, businesses and citizens all agree that our healthcare system is broken and needs a major fix.

- see the Wall Street Journal Health Blog's summary of the FT interview
- check out the FT videos