FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb Resigns
Scott Gottlieb has announced plans to step down as head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after two years in the position. The 46-year-old physician was one of the few agency heads appointed by US president Donald Trump that were regarded generally as a good pick.
Gottlieb did not give any reasons for resigning, apart from saving himself the long commute from his home in Connecticut to Washington, DC, though some suggested he may have another job, possibly with a pharmaceutical company.
The departing FDA commissioner was seen as advocate for the biotech industry, and its stocks declined on the news. Gottlieb was also praised in some quarters for criticizing high drug prices while at the same time remaining on good terms with the pharmaceutical industry.
Commenting on the resignation, the trade group PhRMA commended the commissioner’s exemplary leadership. "During his tenure, he focused on innovation in drug development and review, increased competition, and advanced the regulatory framework for approving novel technologies, including gene therapies," PhRMA said.
Along with taking quick action on rising drug costs, most recently advocating the approval of biosimilars for insulin, Gottlieb is credited with accelerating approvals of generics as well as cracking down on alleged anti-competitive behavior within the industry. Reports said his departure could be a setback to the Trump administration’s efforts to lower pharmaceutical prices.