Gottlieb confirmed as FDA Commissioner

The U.S. Senate confirmed Scott Gottlieb, M.D., as FDA Commissioner on May 9, 2017 in a 57 to 42 vote, with all voting Republicans and five Democrats voting for confirmation, and all remaining Democrats voting against confirmation. Gottlieb’s ties to the investment company, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), were discussed at length during contentious confirmation hearing; nevertheless, he was easily confirmed. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), who chaired Gottlieb’s confirmation hearing, opined that new Commissioner “will help American families benefit from the promise of 21st Century Cures.”

Gottlieb most recently served as a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI), clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, and a member of the HHS Federal Health IT Policy Committee. He served as Deputy FDA Commissioner in the George W. Bush administration from 2005 to 2007.He is known for encouraging a quicker FDA approval process for new drugs, with a focus for shortening wait times on large, clinical trials (see Trump nominates Gottlieb for FDA Commissioner, Health Law Daily, March 13, 2017). During his April 5, 2017 confirmation hearing, Democratic senators expressed concern about his financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies (see Gottlieb’s ‘financial entanglements’ troubling or heartening, depending on the senator, Health Law Daily, April 5, 2017). Gottlieb acknowledged the importance of impartiality and told Senators, “I want to earn and keep the public’s trust.”