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Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who has been nominated to head the Food and Drug Administration, plans to recuse himself for a year from agency decisions on more than 20 companies, including some drug makers, The Wall Street Journal reports. But some critics are more concerned about his views of FDA regulation. “You can’t recuse yourself from your ideology. Scott has been very candid that he would like a lighter regulatory touch,” says Jerome Avorn, a Harvard Medical School professor.

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  • Ed, the Purdue memo you cite is 23 years old. Been around some of this stuff since then, so here is my prediction based on what companies have done to tighten their legal armaments. McCaskill will have trouble getting what she wants for three reasons. 1) Back in the 1990’s when litigation started heating up drug companies began to cc their lawyers on sensitive internal documents, knowing they couldn’t always immunize them based on proprietary and trade secret information. Attorney client privilege works much better, and so nary will you find such a document that’s not marked “Confidential Work Product: Subject to Attorney Client Privilege”. Asserting the privilege means McCaskill will have to subpoena the papers, which the company lawyers can hold up until she is an octogenarian; 3) Even if she is lucky enough to get the papers while she is still in office the privilege allows the papers to be heavily redacted, leaving McCaskill with a bunch of prepositions, conjunctions and misplaced modifiers to reconstruct the alleged crime.

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