U professor named to FDA committee

After an 18-month selection process, Courtney Fletcher, professor in the University’s College of Pharmacy, has been appointed to a four-year term on the Food and Drug Administration’s Anti-viral Drugs Advisory Committee.
As one of 13 members on the committee, he will review and evaluate data on the safety and effectiveness of drugs used to treat viruses.
Fletcher met with the group for the first time July 25. They will continue to meet three to four times a year to review drug treatments for viruses such as influenza, herpes and HIV.
Representing the final phase of a drug’s development, the committee’s ultimate recommendation on drugs will determine if the treatment wins final FDA approval.
Anti-viral drugs and research is nothing new for Fletcher, who has a long and distinguished career as an HIV-drug researcher.
Focusing his career on analyzing and developing anti-viral drugs for HIV patients, Fletcher has been interested in answering why drugs suppress HIV in some patients, while doing little in others.
“For me its very exciting; maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Fletcher said.
“In some ways, the advisory committee, then, has a real important public health role to play, in that it is one of the last steps in this whole process to insure that the drugs that physicians prescribe and that are on the shelves in pharmacies are safe and effective,” he added.
— Justin Costley