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.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • Online intelligence briefings
  • Frequent opportunities to engage with veteran beat reporters and industry experts
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • Dr Gottlieb did a great job in converting talk to action and this led to increased availability of approved medicines. I hope the next Commissioner can expand the FDA arena of what we consider legitimate treatment. We need to focus on “Alternative Medicine,” an unfortunate, ambivalent terminology, at best. For example, acupuncture has an enviable efficacy established and refined for thousands of years. Illnesses, especially chronic ones, impact all aspects of the physical/ emotional body. Treatment modalities impact the body differently and don’t need to be used as “either/or.”
    Drugs work on the physical body, but may result in adverse reactions. Acupuncture balances the body’s energy fields and require more practitioner time than writing a script. Used together, some professionals have found a therapeutic synergy. This enhanced result becomes evident from increased effectiveness in reducing symptoms, unanticipated opportunity to decrease medication dosage, etc. Drugs are one answer, and sometimes the best answer to an illness. But far from always. While scientists explore in the lab for new medicines, doctors could be exploring the clinical world for synergies with treatments we have right now.

Sign up for our Daily Recap newsletter

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy