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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration just lost its most effective health policy salesman.

Scott Gottlieb, the charismatic FDA commissioner who announced this week he will step down in about a month, was better than any other administration official at selling key Trump administration policies — particularly those related to lowering prescription drug prices — on Capitol Hill, lawmakers and aides in both parties told STAT.


Gottlieb isn’t on television to talk about the administration’s high-profile goal of bringing down drug prices nearly as often as health secretary Alex Azar. Nor is his agency drafting many of the regulatory changes that have become the centerpiece of the administration’s agenda on the issue. But behind the scenes, he has been constantly fielding lawmakers’ and their staff’s questions, establishing such a strong rapport that he began serving as something of a backchannel for others in the administration hoping to connect with Capitol Hill.

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