Food & Drug Administration Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced in a letter Tuesday that he plans to resign, effective in one month. In his letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, he said he has worked together with his colleagues to achieve many goals he set out just fewer than two years ago when he took office.
Gottlieb was sworn in as the 23rd commissioner of food and drugs on May 11, 2017. Gottlieb is a physician, medical policy expert and public health advocate who previously served as FDA deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs and, before that, as a senior advisor to the FDA commissioner.
Gottlieb said, under his direction, the agency helped support major legislative efforts to secure a more modern framework “to advance animal health through a new pathway that makes the development of drugs targeting unmet animal health needs more efficient.”
“All of us at [U.S. Department of Health & Human Services] are proud of the remarkable work Commissioner Gottlieb has done at the FDA,” Azar said in a statement. "He has been an exemplary public health leader, aggressive advocate for American patients and passionate promoter of innovation. I will personally miss working with Scott on the important goals we share, and I know that is true for so many other members of the HHS family."
Azar added, “Scott’s leadership inspired historic results from the FDA team, which delivered record approvals of both innovative treatments and affordable generic drugs while advancing important policies to confront opioid addiction, tobacco and youth e-cigarette use, chronic disease and more. The public health of our country is better off for the work Scott and the entire FDA team have done over the last two years.”
President Donald Trump also praised Gottlieb’s work, saying in a tweet: "Scott Gottlieb, who has done an absolutely terrific job as commissioner of the FDA, plans to leave government service sometime next month." Trump added that Gottlieb "has helped us to lower drug prices, get a record number of generic drugs approved and onto the market and so many other things. He and his talents will be greatly missed!"
Gottlieb has been vocal about FDA’s role on regulating cell-based meat. FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture had agreed to move forward on a joint framework for overseeing new products coming onto the market. Those in the milk industry have also petitioned FDA to uphold the current definition of milk and other dairy terms.