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Largely on party lines, Trump’s choice for Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, was confirmed by the Senate on a vote of 57-42 on Tuesday.
Gottlieb, a physician with ties to the pharmaceutical industry, previously served as the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner and was also an official with Medicaid and Medicare Services Center under the George W. Bush administration.
Gottlieb’s confirmation comes as President Trump works to speed up the drug approval process and cut through red tape in the FDA.
But, Democrats in Washington are concerned that Gottlieb’s past ties with the pharmaceutical industry will compromise him.
But, Gottlieb was a much more suitable candidate for the position than earlier choices that Trump had considered for Commissioner. Financier Peter Thiel was earlier considered for the position, Thiel was a supporter of doing away with the process that mandated that a drug shows effectiveness before being approved for sale.
Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski released a statement after Gottlieb’s confirmation, saying,
“Congratulations to Dr. Scott Gottlieb on his successful confirmation to be our nation’s next Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Gottlieb’s nomination has received broad support from over 46 organizations and three former FDA Commissioners. His extensive background with CMS, the FDA, and the private sector gives him the expertise needed to protect public health and lead the FDA as it works to modernize and meet the goals of the 21st Century Cures that passed last year. Dr. Gottlieb has pledged to work with me in regards to mandatory labeling of genetically engineered salmon and FDA seafood advice for pregnant and nursing mothers, and I believe he understands the distinctive challenges and opportunities we face in Alaska. I look forward to the new perspective he will bring as our next Food and Drug Administration Commissioner.”