Scott Gottlieb is now one short swearing-in ceremony at the White House away from becoming the next FDA commissioner.
The Senate voted to confirm Gottlieb — by a vote of 57 to 42 and 1 MIA — in his role at the helm of the FDA, after Democrats and Republicans took one last advantage of either lauding or criticizing his lengthy resume over the last decade as an adviser to biopharma — a roster the includes GlaxoSmithKline and Vertex — as well as venture investor.
“I don’t think Scott Gottlieb is the right person for this job,” said Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown.
Brown, though, knew the opposition group was short the votes needed to stop this train from reaching the station. He offered to come back and apologize if he decides sometime in the future that he had been wrong.
There will be plenty of time for that.
Gottlieb has navigated his way past wild card candidates offering to turn the system upside down and through a White House where criticizing pharma has become a habit, promising to uphold the FDA gold standard on efficacy and safety, publish CRLs (redacted), accelerate the approval of complex generics and take a fresh look at new and possibly better ways to evaluate drugs and devices while doing a much better job recruiting professional staffers.
The industry has backed him at every step, largely happy to endorse someone well known for his work in the industry and his views on the agency. The time has arrived for Gottlieb to start taking action, so the industry can better determine whether it was right or wrong.
He begins with some real enthusiasm in biopharma for what he hopes to accomplish.
Image credit: Getty
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