Don’t confirm Scott Gottlieb, MD, as head of the FDA! That’s the message sent to the Senate in an opinion piece in STAT by Renée M. Landers, who was deputy general counsel of HHS from 1996 to 1997. Gottlieb’s support of speeding up the drug approval process through deregulation will accelerate a harmful trend already set in motion by the 21st Century Cures Act, which lessens the amount of scientific evidence needed for drug approval, writes Landers. Gottlieb, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a leading conservative expert on health care policy, has too close ties to the industry he is supposed to be regulating, Landers writes.
Insurers, physicians, drugmakers, and the medical device industry all rely on FDA guidance. “Squandering confidence in a system so vital to public health in an ideologically driven and profit-motivated pursuit of reducing regulations defies logic,” Landers writes, giving the Gottlieb nomination a big thumbs-down.
“The Senate should refuse to confirm any candidate to be FDA commissioner who is not committed to maintaining a rigorous scientific process of regulatory approvals for drugs and devices, and to limiting the marketing of those products to FDA-approved uses. In addition, the Senate should work to protect public health by not confirming judicial nominees who would elevate corporate speech over appropriate regulation.”