Julia Belluz explains why Scott Gottlieb is a terrible choice to lead the FDA:
According to the public interest group Public Citizen, “Gottlieb is entangled in an unprecedented web of Big Pharma ties.” He currently serves or has served on five pharmaceutical companies’ boards, including GlaxoSmithKline, and was recused from meetings and decisions while serving as FDA deputy commissioner because of these conflicts.
“Between 2013 and 2015, Gottlieb received a total of at least $413,000 from multiple pharma and medical device companies, most for consulting and speaking fees,” Public Citizen reported.
He’s also partner at a large venture capital firm, New Enterprise Associates, a senior principal at the investment bank TR Winston, and partner at the hedge fund Arcoda Capital Management — all health care–centric finance groups.
He’d need to resign from the pharmaceutical boards, and get rid of stock in companies he’d regulate at FDA. But severing those ties isn’t that easy, Daniel Carpenter, a Harvard professor who wrote a history of the FDA, told Vox. “These are not relationships whose influence just disappears once he resigns from a corporate board.” He added: “If [Gottlieb] is confirmed, he would be the most interest-conflicted commissioner in American history, by far.”