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OTC OFFICE DIRECTOR MICHAEL WEINTRAUB TO BE RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

OTC OFFICE DIRECTOR MICHAEL WEINTRAUB TO BE RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL early in the week of Sept. 20, following his hospitalization on Sept. 12 for a minor stroke. Weintraub, 54, reportedly suffered the stroke while he was jogging. Although he suffered some partial paralysis after the stroke, as of Sept. 17 Weintraub had regained full function and is reported to be in good condition at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md. Medical Review Staff Director Debra Bowen, MD, will assume responsibility for heading the Office of OTC Drug Evaluation in Weintraub's absence. FDA expects Weintraub to return to the office in the "near future." Weintraub has directed the OTC office since its formation in 1991. Although he was formally appointed director of the office in June ("The Tan Sheet" July 5, In Brief), Weintraub was the defacto steward of the office for nearly two years during which time he was listed as an FDA consultant. Prior to joining the agency, Weintraub was a Mellon Fellow and professor of community medicine, pharmacology, and medicine at the University of Rochester. He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania. Under Weintraub's direction, the OTC office has moved quickly on several major and controversial OTC drug issues using the new Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee and, when appropriate, new drug advisory committees for expert advice. The issues have included alcohol levels in OTC products; a petition from Health Research Group on the efficacy of OTC antidiarrheal ingredients; two major switches -- naproxen and cimetidine; and analgesic labeling covering possible side effects associated with alcohol use.
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