resident Trump’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration has promised to recuse himself from agency decisions on more than 25 companies to which he has ties.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who is deeply entrenched in the industry he may soon regulate, plans to resign from his roles in investment banking, venture capital, and as a consultant to drug companies within 90 days of his Senate confirmation. At the same time, he’ll sell off his shares in a host of biotech companies.

And for one year after those resignations, Gottlieb will stay out of any FDA deliberations related to those companies, which include GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.


Gottlieb’s close ties to the drug industry have been polarizing since his nomination and will likely be a subject of contention among Democrats during his Senate confirmation hearing. The 44-year-old physician has traced an unusual career path, pivoting from Wall Street to a role at the FDA and then embarking on a lucrative career as an investor and adviser.

That experience, according to his proponents, makes him an ideal candidate to lead an agency that has long pledged to work seamlessly with the industry it regulates. But Gottlieb’s critics argue that his expansive resume creates a conflict-of-interest minefield that could cast doubt on the FDA’s decision making.

Correction: A previous headline on this story implied that Gottlieb had tied to 25 biopharma companies. Many of the companies he’s been involved with involve medical diagnostics and finance, not drug development.

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