President Trump Nominates Conservative Physician, Scott Gottlieb, To Head the FDA

By Charles Omedo , Mar 11, 2017 02:28 AM EST

President Donald Trump has nominated Dr. Scott Gottlieb as potential had of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency. Gottlieb is regarded as a conservative physician and businessman with extensive experience of how the pharmaceutical industry is run. In fact, many voices in the health industry call for the US Senate to approve his nomination for the job.

Dr. Gottlieb was known to always criticize the Obamacare plan and argue drug pricing issues among approval matters for new drugs. It is considered that with his hands on the FDA wheel, he will relax government regulations for approving food, drugs, cosmetics, dietary supplements and tobacco among others. Pharmaceutical companies and other players within the health industry view his nomination as a good sign for the industry.

Industry executives say Gottlieb is knowledgeable, experienced and balanced

"We view this as a favorable development for the sector," said Brian Skorney, an analyst with Robert W. Baird, adding that "Thank God it's Gottlieb." A survey of 53 pharmaceutical executives revealed that 72% of them preferred having Gottlieb as the head of the FDA over other candidates. Players in the industry say he is "a pragmatic leader with an eye toward both expedited approvals and safety.

Several players within the industry credit Gottlieb with being knowledgeable, experienced and balanced, the Huffington Post wrote. Another top contender for the FDA position is Jim O'Neill, but his past claims that drugs should be approved and then afterward proven effective is working against him. O'Neill is, however, a good friend of Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and presidential advisor on technology and science.

Who is Scott Gottlieb?

Dr. Gottlieb is now 44 years old and a former deputy commissioner at the FDA. He is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the boards of several drug companies. He is also a partner with a big venture capital fund and a visible advocate for pharmaceutical companies and the health business.

Gottlieb equally contributes opinion pieces to Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. A survivor of lymphoma, he advocates that new drugs are approved quickly and new uses are also approved in time for existing drugs. According to Dr. Michael Carome of the Public Citizen's Health Research Group, Gottlieb is the ideal choice for FDA because he "has spent most of his career dedicated to promoting the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry."

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