A few days, Becky Kush (president of CDISC) informed me that the FDA recently appointed a new CIO who has a track record of success in science in pharma industry.
I do not know Eric Perakslis personally, but I heard some very good things about him. Eric launched the TranSMART project at J&J, so he surely is a visionary IT guy.
The one million dollar question will be if he will really get the empowerment that is needed to structurally change something at the FDA, and bring their IT (which is currently in a desperate state - see the previous blog entry) on such a level that it can cope with the IT level on which the industry is acting.
Already more than a year ago at the Baltimore Interchange, I heard Theresa Mullin of the "Office of Planning and Informatics" (i.e. the CIO's department) telling us about all the plans she had for improving things at CDER. More than a year later still nothing seems to have changed: CDER does not have any servers, databases, good viewers, XML or database knowledge ...
The problem is that (which she told us herself) is that she cannot force any department to develop or implement something (advisory role only).
Will Eric Perakslis also be chained into such an "advisory role" as all his predecessors were? Or will he get the power, people and financial means to really change things? Will he be able to force departments like CDER to bring their IT into the 21st century?
I really hope so ...