President Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, was questioned about his ties to the pharmaceutical industry by Democrats on a key Senate committee on Wednesday ahead of a vote on whether to advance his nomination for a vote by the full Senate.
Gottlieb, 44, is a former FDA deputy commissioner who has advocated a loosening of requirements needed for approval of new medical products. He is also a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank, a partner at a large venture capital fund and sits on the boards of multiple healthcare companies.
Democrats on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, questioned whether Gottlieb’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry would compromise his ability to act impartially.
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said Democrats had “a level of discomfort” with Gottlieb’s nomination, not just due to his private industry background but because of his prior activity as a political advisor to Republican presidential candidates and opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
Overall, the hearing went smoothly for Gottlieb and covered his views on clinical trials, e-cigarettes, the lipoid epidemic and vaccines.