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Trump picks former FDA official to head food and drug agency

Friday, March 10, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump today he has chosen a conservative doctor-turned-pundit with deep ties to Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry to lead the powerful Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb would be tasked with Trump's goal of cutting red tape at the FDA, which regulates everything from pharmaceuticals to seafood to electronic cigarettes.

Trump has called the FDA's drug approval process "slow and burdensome" despite changes to speed reviews, particularly of cutting-edge products.

Gottlieb, 44, is no stranger to the FDA – he served as a deputy commissioner under President George W. Bush. While he has frequently criticized the FDA for unnecessary regulations and urged changes to get safe and effective drugs onto the market faster, he generally has supported its overall mission.

A Senate vote is required before Gottlieb can take over as head of the agency.

Gottlieb is a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a partner in the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. He has spent more than a decade in Washington rotating between the worlds of government, health policy consulting and political think tanks.

Since leaving the FDA in 2007, Gottlieb has served as a board member or adviser to at least nine pharmaceutical or medical technology companies, according to his LinkedIn profile.