Trump’s FDA pick vows to sever past pharma ties to avoid partisanship

pharmafile | March 30, 2017 | News story | Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing FDA, Scott Gottlieb, Trump 

After much speculation, Donald Trump recently announced his top pick for Commissioner of the FDA as Dr Scott Gottlieb. Gottlieb served as Deputy Commissioner during the Bush administration and has a broad background in the pharma industry, acting as an external consultant to GSK, an independent advisor to Vertex, and many more ties to firms through board membership and more, leading to concerns over possible partisanship if he were to be confirmed by the Senate. Seemingly in response to these worries, Gottlieb has voiced plans to sever these connections to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

The President’s nominee has stated that he if selected he will resign from his many corporate board roles and consulting positions in which he has financial interest, as well as ridding himself of investments in around 20 small industry firms.  He has also vowed to not engage in any consulting work and refrain from involving himself in the affairs of past clients for once year since his last interaction with them while at the FDA’s helm.

The claims were documented in an ethics disclosure form filed with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Gottlieb also stated that his consulting company Innovating Healthcare, which has provided service to Bristol-Myers Squibb, ceased operation in December last year. He additionally holds positions at the New York University of Medicine, the Society of Hospital Medicine and the American Enterprise Institute, all of which he plans to resign from.

Despite strong opposition from the Democrat camp, it is reported that Gottlieb is generally viewed favourably by the industry with strong support. It is expected that the Senate will accept President Trump’s nomination in the coming weeks.  

Matt Fellows

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