When FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb got his job, critics called him a shill and industry types figured they’d gained a friend in the most important drug regulatory agency in the world. It didn’t turn out quite that way.
Gottlieb was biopharma-friendly—to the point where the Nasdaq biotech index plummeted at the news of his departure—but he also made a few moves companies didn’t particularly like. Speeding up generics, for instance, and decrying the games branded drugmakers play to keep copycats from hitting the market.
Now, he’ll be gone within a month, with no successor yet named—even on an interim basis. Biotech investors are obviously panicking, and biotech and pharma companies face an uncharted regulatory landscape, with no idea which Gottlieb initiatives will survive his exit. But some agency critics are quite happy to see Gottlieb go.