Sharfstein Steps Down as FDA Deputy Commissioner

January 5, 2011

He will become Maryland's state secretary of health and mental hygiene.

Joshua Sharfstein, MD, the current FDA principal deputy commissioner, is leaving his position to become Maryland state secretary of health and mental hygiene, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sharfstein held FDA’s second-highest position for just 21 months.

"It was not that I was looking to leave or was burned out," Sharfstein said in an interview cited by the Washington Post. "I was committed to the FDA. But opportunities like this don't come along very often. It's a really great job at a really important moment in time, and with terrific leadership in the state.”

FDA chief Margaret Hamburg, MD, has chosen counselor to the commissioner John Taylor as interim principal deputy commissioner for 60 days until FDA finds a replacement for Sharfstein.