FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, announced his resigation effective 1 month from Tuesday, March 5, according to an HHS press release.
The HHS release lauded Gottlieb’s reign as head of the FDA.
"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,” Alex Azar, HHS secretary, said in the release.
At the time of Gottlieb’s nomination, mainstream media had called him a conservative physician and businessman with deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
In the nearly 2 years since, he has made curtailing youth tobacco use one of his top priorities. He announced plans to revisit significant parts of two policies that restrict access to newly regulated noncombustible tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), and e-cigarettes; oversaw undercover blitzes targeting retailers who sell to minors; and announced plans to expand the “The Real Cost” campaign, which includes educational information on the dangers of ENDS and e-cigarettes for teenagers.
Gottlieb had announced several initiatives during his stint as FDA commissioner, including some that address the opioid crisis.
Gottlieb has also announced initiatives that seek to curb the opioid epidemic, most recently proactively developing and testing a product label to encourage development of an over-the-counter version of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone and approving a mobile medical app that could increase the time a patient participates in an outpatient treatment program for opioid use disorder, according to a FDA press release.
The FDA’s press office had not responded to a request for comment prior to this story’s posting. - by Janel Miller
Disclosure: Azar is HHS Secretary.