FDA Hires Health Technology Executive for Senior Role at Agency

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is hiring medical-industry executive Amy Abernethy as its new principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs, according to an internal memo.

Abernethy is the chief medical officer for Flatiron Health, a medical-technology firm that uses its data to help doctors and hospitals treat cancer patients. The company was bought by Roche Holding AG this year. She’ll succeed Rachel Sherman, who is retiring from the FDA.

Key Insights

  • The role is one of the FDA’s highest-ranking positions, second only to Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on the agency’s organizational chart. Abernethy will be a key adviser as the Trump administration continues to try to drive down health-care costs.
  • Abernethy has a number of industry and academic ties. Before joining Flatiron, she was a professor at the Duke University School of Medicine. She also sits on the board of Athenahealth Inc., which provides internet-based services for physician practices.
  • Like other government agencies, the FDA is facing some turnover at the top following the midterm elections. There are no indications that Gottlieb intends to leave his post.

Get More

Abernethy’s expertise is in “including the development of systems by which aggregated clinical data can support personalized medicine, outcomes research, cancer care quality monitoring, and scientific discovery,” according to her Flatiron biography.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.