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Senate Confirms New FDA Commissioner

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Dr. Scott Gottlieb was confirmed today as the new FDA Commissioner.  Dr. Gottlieb has promised to put public health first and not do anything “that shakes the public’s confidence in the agency.” He is a former hospitalist who served in the FDA during the George W. Bush administration, lastly as its deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs. He was a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning think-tank in Washington, DC, and shared his views as a contributor to publications such as Health Affairs and the Wall Street Journal.  Dr. Gottlieb has also served as a board director or advisor to various drug and medical device companies, including GSK, Glytec, and Tolero Pharmaceuticals. He has also been a managing director of an investment banking firm specializing in healthcare and a venture partner in a venture capital company investing in the sector.  To avoid conflicts of interest, Dr. Gottlieb promised that if confirmed, he would resign from a dozen current industry positions, sell off his investments in healthcare companies, and recuse himself from any FDA decisions relating to some 20 companies and institutions for one year.