FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is resigning, ending a tenure at the agency where he approved a flood of new drugs and cheaper copycat pills, and pushed for sharp curbs on e-cigarette use to halt what he called an epidemic of youth use, according to a Bloomberg report.
Another person familiar with his thinking said Gottlieb had also been frustrated by the government shutdown that shuttered many of the agency’s activities for about a month.
Under his watch, approvals for totally new drugs soared to 59 in 2018 from just 22 in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration. He was also a key part of the Trump administration’s push to lower pharmaceutical costs. Those efforts focused on approving hundreds of new generic drugs, as well as targeting industry tactics that he and others blamed for keeping prices high.
A senior FDA official said his resignation had been planned for some time, and that he was leaving the Trump administration on amicable terms. Gottlieb, 46, had grown tired from a long commute each week back and forth to Connecticut, according to the person, and he felt like he’d set in motion many of his goals on drug costs and e-cigarettes.