FDA criminal investigations head retires after misconduct allegations

FDA/OCI badgeTerry Vermillion, the head of the US Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, has announced his retirement in the wake of a difficult period punctuated by criticism and investigation into the OCI's actions.

The federal Government Accountability Office said in January this year that the FDA was not exercising enough oversight of the OCI, which looks into suspected criminal violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and other related legislation.

Shortly thereafter, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley weighed into the debate. In a letter to the GAO, he claimed that an unidentified whistleblower had told him the GAO investigation itself was compromised and did not dig deep enough into Vermillion's activities as OCI director.

Among the allegations levelled by the whistleblower and cited by Grassley were that Vermillion directed the OCI mainly over the phone from home, used FDA staff to carry out personal work and arranged training for an OCI employee claimed to be his 'office mistress,' according to a Pharmalot report.

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