Another page in the history of the generic drug program turns at the end of this month. Bob West, former Deputy Director of the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) will retire at the end of this month after about 37 years of government service. It is hard for me to believe that I have been out of the FDA for 20 years and now news of Bob’s retirement sends memories of the old days swirling through my mind.
Bob came to OGD after a stint with the Public Health Service’s hospitals and clinics and a number of years in New Drugs. He started in the generic’s program shortly after the generic drug scandal and rose through the ranks to Deputy Director of OGD. Bob was known for his ability to ferret out problems and provide solutions. He was always available to speak with the industry whether at conferences or over the phone. He brought a certain understanding of the industry to the job that allowed him to balance the strict regulatory requirements of the job with the industry’s need to know.
Bob will be sorely missed by industry at his FDA post and we wish him the best in retirement.