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FDA drive to fill vacancies

The US Food and Drug Administration has launched a recruitment drive to hire 1,300 new personnel to plug staffing shortages across the agency.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a recruitment drive to hire 1,300 new personnel to plug staffing shortages across the agency.

According to the agency, there is a critical shortage of medical officers, consumer safety officers, chemists, pharmacologists and pharmacists. The FDA hopes to recruit hundreds of new personnel with scientific and medical backgrounds.

John Dyer, the FDA's deputy commissioner for operations and chief operating officer, said: "It takes a large pool of talented people for the FDA to protect and promote public health. Each month there is a delay in bringing critical staff on board, which impairs the agency's ability to fulfil this mission."

During the coming year, the agency is hoping to fill 600 new positions and 700 positions that should have been filled after the passing of the FDA Amendments Act 2007. If successful in its goal, the FDA recruitment drive will hire triple the number of people employed between 2005 and 2007.

The Office of Personnel Management, an operating division of the Department of Health and Human Services in the US, has granted the FDA direct-hire authority, a move that signals the government's desire to remedy the staffing problems expediently.

30th April 2008

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