In the wake of the surprising news that FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb plans to resign next month, the Trump Administration and industry groups expressed support for the outgoing chief.
In a letter to FDA employees, Gottlieb said that the challenge of being apart from his family for the last two years motivated his decision to leave. An administration official told CNN that Gottlieb has been commuting weekly from his home in Connecticut to Washington.
During his tenure at the FDA, Gottlieb oversaw a record number of approvals for new drugs and therapies. He focused his policy priorities on dealing with opioid addiction and e-cigarettes.
Gottlieb also dealt with overseeing the FDA during the longest government shutdown in history, as well as navigating the difficulties presented by natural disasters.
Secretary of the Dept. of Health & Human Services Alex Azar wrote that Gottlieb has been “an exemplary public health leader, aggressive advocate for American patients, and passionate promoter of innovation.”
The president took to Twitter to support Gottlieb.
“Scott Gottlieb, who has done an absolutely terrific job as Commissioner of the FDA, plasn to leave government service sometime next month,” he wrote. “Scott 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!”
Medical device industry groups also commented on Gottlieb’s departure.
“Commissioner Gottlieb has been a tremendous leader in supporting patient care and medical technology innovation, and he has initiated regulatory reforms that will impact our ecosystem for years to come. MDMA thanks Commissioner Gottlieb for all of his passionate work, and we look forward to continue working with the Administration, FDA, Congress and all stakeholders to ensure that patients have timely access to safe and effective medical technologies,” Mark Leahey, president & CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, said in prepared remarks.
“We want to thank Dr. Gottlieb for his service to the American public and his commitment to ensuring patients have access to the latest treatments, diagnostics and cures. During his tenure as FDA commissioner, Dr. Gottlieb has been a tireless advocate for improved patient care and for promoting innovative solutions to our most pressing health challenges, including greater use of medtech to combat the opioid crises. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” AdvaMed president & CEO Scott Whitaker said in a statement.