Two former US FDA officials take on key roles at tobacco giant PMI

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Matthew Holman left his post at the FDA to become vice president of US science engagement and regulatory strategy at PMI.

Of course, given the intense regulatory and public scrutiny that tobacco companies face, the timing of these appointments might no longer be critical. Badrul Chowdhury, who has spent more than two decades at the FDA, has accepted the post of director of life sciences, while Matthew Holman has been named vice president of US science engagement and regulatory strategy at the FDA. the tobacco company.

In recent years, tobacco companies have done everything possible to restore their image and reputation and turn to selling safer alternative nicotine products. Former PMI CEO Andre Catantzopoulos had insisted that a smoke-free future was achievable and that PMI needed the cooperation of governments and civil society to reach a consensus that, with oversight and With proper regulation, alternative nicotine products can be part of an effective tobacco control policy. “Thanks to rapid advances in science and technology and strong commitment from PMI, these products are now a reality,” he said.

While current PMI CEO Jacek Olczak said the tobacco company would achieve its goal of 50% smoke-free product sales by 2025. He said the company was fully equipped to replace cigarettes with safer alternatives. “We have a world-leading portfolio of traditional and smokeless tobacco products, an exceptional management team and are an agile, efficient and fast-learning organization. We are fully equipped to continue to succeed in our vision to replace cigarettes with better alternatives, to the benefit of consumers, shareholders and society as a whole,” he said, as quoted by The Edge earlier this year.

PMI strives to change its image

Last year PMI came under fire from Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation for partnering with asthma inhaler maker Vectura, a move that of course seems as hypocritical as it gets given it’s It’s about investing in a product that helps cure a disease that combustible tobacco creates and aggravates.

Meanwhile, Olzak recently reiterated that the company plans to branch out into wellness, saying it’s a natural evolutionary process for the tobacco company. “This is a natural evolution for PMI to further transform our business into a broader lifestyle, consumer wellness and healthcare business in the future. This is an evolution that will not only realize our continued commitment to achieving a smoke-free future, but also the development and commercialization of scientifically proven products and solutions that address unmet consumer and patient needs.

“The market for wellness and healthcare products is large and growing. We have several focus areas in our pipeline. For consumer and over-the-counter wellness products, we have several initiatives focusing on focus, sleep, energy, pain and calm. In healthcare, we believe there are significant unmet patient needs for timely and effective treatments in cardiovascular, such as myocardial infarction, and neurological, such as migraine, that can be met. through innovative solutions. We recently accelerated this part of our strategy with the acquisition of Vectura, a provider of innovative inhaled drug delivery solutions, and Fertin, a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative pharmaceutical and wellness products based on oral and intra-oral administration systems. “, Olzak said.

Read further: Reuters

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