Health and Human Services Department Reserves Right of Rule Issuing


Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, barred the nation’s health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, from signing any new rules regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products, including vaccines. Mr. Azar wrote in a Sept. 15 memorandum such power “is reserved to the Secretary.” The bulletin was sent to heads of operating and staff divisions within H.H.S.


In the past, many rules issued by federal health agencies are signed by lawyers or by the heads of agencies, including the F.D.A., under the umbrella of H.H.S. The new memo requires the secretary to sign them.

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