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Surgeon General Nominee Gets Grilling

Holsinger Tells Senators He Won't Let Political Pressure Influence His Scientific Views

Opposition and Support continued...

Surgeon generals have little executive authority in the government. But they command the public's attention on a wide range of health issues.

A 1964 report on smoking and health produced by then-Surgeon General Luther L. Terry, MD, is credited with helping to cut smoking rates in the U.S.

On Thursday, Holsinger appeared to surprise lawmakers when he said he would support laws banning consumer advertising of prescription drugs as a way to help curb medical costs.

"It puts an unconscionable pressure on America's physicians to prescribe the blue pill or the pink pill or whatever the pill of the month might be, and I think that we have done a disservice to our physicians by allowing that to occur," he said.

Holsinger also said he supports White House limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

The committee that held the hearing is expected to vote on the Holsinger's nomination sometime this summer.

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