Scott Gottlieb, the highly effective and well-liked commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, announced Tuesday that he would quit, leaving himself only a month to wrap up his plans like spurring the development of new drugs and regulating electronic cigarettes.
That news is likely to leave biotech and pharma executives, who largely adored Gottlieb, nervous at best and frightened at worst. Likewise, health care investors. That’s not because they thought Gottlieb was necessarily so great. It’s because the libertarian figures whose names were floated for the job before he got it seemed to want to dismantle the FDA drug oversight and review process, taking deregulation so far that even the drug companies worried. The question now is whether those names will resurface.