Trump Picks Scott Gottlieb to Serve as FDA Commissioner

Anna Edney and Robert Langreth, Bloomberg Politics: March 10, 2017

  • Nominee was senior FDA executive under George W. Bush
  • Choice represents mainstream pick for pharmaceutical industry

Scott Gottlieb, a former deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the agency, according to an emailed statement from the White House.

Gottlieb, 44, served in several senior positions at the FDA during the George W. Bush administration. He has talked extensively about how to lower the cost of prescription drugs by modernizing the agency’s approval process and speeding cheaper generic competitors to market.

Since leaving the FDA, Gottlieb has worked as an adviser to investment firms and as a fellow at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank. He has been the drug industry’s preferred choice for the FDA job and has worked as a consultant to some of its companies.

Gottlieb must be confirmed by the Senate before he takes over at the agency.

Mainstream Pick

Gottlieb is a more mainstream nominee than some of the other candidates who were said to be under consideration. He’s a partner at one of the world’s largest venture capital firms, New Enterprise Associates, which has a portfolio of more than 300 businesses in the technology and health-care industries, according to its website.

Other names for the FDA post that Trump considered in the past, according to people familiar, were Jim O’Neill, a Silicon Valley investor who has suggested that drugs need to be assessed only for safety, not efficacy, before they’re approved. Another was biotech executive Balaji Srinivasan, who’s tweeted that the FDA “bears responsibility for many deaths” because it “blocked many good drugs.”

While Gottlieb has focused on easing regulations, he “understands the agency and has some respect for it,” Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, said in an interview before the news that Gottlieb is the leading candidate. The center is a Washington think tank that promotes education and research on policies that benefit patients. […]


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