Westporter Moves One Step Closer To FDA Helm

As with so many things in Washington these days, today’s Senate committee hearing on the nomination of Westporter Scott Gottlieb as head of the Food and Drug Administration was either a spectacular success — or another stumble.

It all depends on whose news you believe.

NBC’s report — posted at 11:56 a.m. — was headlined “Opponents of FDA Nominee Scott Gottlieb Invoke Opioid Crisis.” High up in the story was this:

Gottlieb is a Washington fixture, with a medical degree, experience at the FDA and in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He is a fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute and a respected health policy analyst.

But his critics cite his ties to the drug industry and his role at New Enterprise Associates, which bills itself as the world’s largest venture capital firm. It invests heavily in medical technology and healthcare companies.

They seized on the opioid crisis as Gottlieb’s potential weak spot.

“Trump’s nominee to be the next FDA commissioner, Dr. Gottlieb, is entangled in an unprecedented web of close financial and business ties to the pharmaceutical industry and was no doubt chosen because he is well-suited to carry out the president’s reckless, ill-informed vision for deregulating the FDA’s review and approval process for prescription medications, including opioids,” Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, told reporters on a conference call.

“Dr. Gottlieb has had a cozy relationship with big drug companies for decades,” added Sherrod Brown, a Democratic senator from Ohio. “He has supported allowing those same companies to rush their drugs — including potentially addictive opioid painkillers — onto the market before we’re sure that they’re safe,” Brown added.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb

At 2:55 p.m., MarketWatch announced: “Scott Gottlieb sailed through his FDA commissioner hearing.” Its reprint of a Wall Street Journal story said:

Scott Gottlieb, President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Food and Drug Administration, emphasized in his confirmation hearing Wednesday his belief “in the gold standard of safety and efficacy” at the agency and said he hopes to expand approvals of generic drugs to lower U.S. prices.

Dr. Gottlieb, who was nominated in March, said he sees the need for new laws and FDA regulatory action to get complex-formulation drugs—like those used topically or with inhalers—more quickly approved as lower-cost generics. While he also said there are ways to speed up some clinical trials, “I think there are ways to modernize clinical studies without sacrificing the gold standard.”

His comments appeared aimed at reassuring Democrats, who have been critical of the nomination because of Dr. Gottlieb’s extensive financial ties to drug makers and his prolific, often conservative writings in which he has been critical FDA regulation, often saying the agency should move faster.

The tension between speed and a focus on safety has been at the center of political debates over the FDA’s future. That has especially been the case under the Trump Administration, since the president has said the FDA takes too long in approving drugs and medical devices.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb has over 36,000 Twitter followers. His profile page proudly displays a photo of Westport.

In addition to his work as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Gottlieb is a clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, and an internist at Tisch Hospital.

Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander lavishly praised Gottlieb. A Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor, he also has the support of groups like the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which he serves as an adviser.

A vote on Gottlieb’s nomination is expected later this month. If confirmed, he will be the 2nd-highest-ranking Westporter in Washington — or 1st, now that FBI director James Comey’s house is on the market. is the highest-ranking Westport in Washington, now that James Comey has left town.

FDA headquarters — Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s probable next home.

(Hat tip: Luke Hammerman)

36 responses to “Westporter Moves One Step Closer To FDA Helm

  1. Irv Kaminetsky

    Congratulations dr
    I know you will do a great job
    Irving kaminetsky

  2. Nancy Hunter

    It’s amazing, dare I say despicable, that politics interferes with something as fundamental as people’s health.

  3. Bobbie Herman

    Well, the rest of the country is going to Hell, why not this?

  4. Huh? If the government is involved how can it not be political?

    • Nancy Hunter

      Yep. It’s not all about you. What a concept.

      • You sound more confused than is usual. If you want the government to run the healthcare system; healthcare will be politicized.

        • Nancy Hunter

          Obviously, we live in different “worlds”. One chooses to care only about oneself, and one cares to share. Not a political argument.

          Maybe, you should watch a few Seinfeld episodes.

          • You care enough to share OPM. How generous. You can’t decry the politicization of healthcare and support a government run healthcare system unless you are confused. So which is it? Do you want politicized healthcare or not?

            • Nancy Hunter

              Single payer healthcare has worked so well, for so long, that it is NOT a political argument OUTSIDE of the U.S.
              The “politicization of healthcare” is your problem.

              Time to catch up. Time to vote. Do you vote for anything, Michael?

              • If healthcare in Canada were not politicized, the Canadian people would not have had to bring a suit to the Canadian Supreme Court, to gain the right to buy private health insurance. Now, two thirds of Canadians have private health insurance. Why did politicians stand in the way of that right?

                • Nancy Hunter

                  Why do you keep mixing Coke with Pepsi?

                  • You are confused. Tell us how you would keep politics from interfering with “something as fundamental as people’s health” if the government, which consists of politicians, is running healthcare?

                    • Nancy Hunter

                      Define your meaning of “politics”, please, then we can have a proper discussion. Man, you are so confusing! (I’d use the word “God”, but not sure if Dan allows it).

                    • Nancy you used the word; you define it, or are you too confused to know what you meant?

                    • Nancy Hunter

                      I can only guess that you’re job is medical insurance?
                      Relax, Michael, enjoy a Dr Pepper.

                    • Nancy Hunter

                      Back to the serious note, it is difficult to understand why a very wealthy nation would play politics with something as serious and basic as healthcare. Tell us why.

                    • Nancy, bad guess again.

                      Politics are in involved because politicians run the healthcare industry. What is so hard to understand?

        • Linda Whitney at Staples

          Michael,
          These confusion comments are backward. You don’t tell someone that they are confused. You try to confuse them!
          Nothing you have said has confused anyone. It has made them more solid in their beliefs.
          Your mentors confuse people with lies, “alternate facts”- that’s the best one I’ve ever heard, and fake news. It is in the philosophical attitude of your neighbor and friend in debate, P. T. Barnum.
          “If you can’t convince ’em, confuse ’em.”
          A favorite of your President who cheated his way into office. (Did you notice his penchant for Plagerism? That is stealing intellectual property!! He will steal anything!!)
          Don’t tell people they are confused. Come up with something that will make them think!! Come up with something that will make you think rather than your dry,droll robo-responses. Maybe you can come up with a way out of the
          Morass that you are trying to build!!

  5. Dick Lowenstein

    James Comey’s house at 6 Westway Road sold for $2,475,000 on January 17.

  6. Diet Based Health care and plant medicine must be pursued to address the terminal mathematics of our current healthcare system. We can extract powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer agents and take them in our daily smoothie. The federal push against CBD’s, the medicinal powerhouse in cannabis, is a last ditch attempt to control and patent protect life savings treatments that could be produced cheaply, grown locally etc,. The same could be said for a food and consumer products model overflowing with proven toxins. The opposite of this flawed approach, the sustainability strategy, continues to win economically and it is an amazing long term growth opportunity that we are actioning today. Only the structural impediments stand in its way and every day, young people everywhere understand them better.

  7. Bill Boyd (Staples 1966)

    Washington is a snake put that attracts certain vipers… Is he one? I dont know…. Does trump and his crowd of greedheads impress me? No, not in the least.

  8. Linda Whitney at Staples

    People seem to be forgetting the role of government in a civilized society.
    Being “anti-government” is not the goal. The goal is addressing the need for organization, protection, and communication in a population that is too large for constant contact between all parties.
    That means the goal is FORMING a government made up of “the people” for the PROTECTION of the people against the greedy individuals who use health care against us- US!! U.S.
    It means MAKING a government that PROVIDES for COMMUNICATION amongst us- that DOES NOT LIMIT that communication, CONTROL that communication, or DESTROY THE RIGHT TO VOTE- our BIGGEST and LOUDEST form of communication amongst ourselves to clarify our thoughts on the future direction of OUR COUNTRY!’
    IT MEANS FOUNDING A GOVERNMENT TO ORGANIZE OUR EFFORTS AND RESOURCES TO SUPPORT THE GOALS OF AND FOR “THE PEOPLE” not a bunch of INDIVIDUALS greedy for power to direct all resources into their OWN POCKETS ONLY!!!

    WE, THE PEOPLE, MUST FIGHT TO DEVELOP THIS GOVERMMENT NOW IN THE FACE OF OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE.

    OUR PROBLEM IS NOT needing to reduce government. It is in building our government to do its job. That job is NOT to support the lives of the rich and famous!! It is to supply avenues for the rich and famous to support ALL OF the people as the people support them and their industry in CONSTRUCTIVE WAYS!!!

    WHAT DO YOU THINK ALL OF THIS INDUSTRY AND JOBS IS FOR?
    ITS FOR PEOPLE!! For better lives, healthier lives, more satisfying/valued lives!!!
    Only people who are underdeveloped on the social/emotional skills scale do not understand that!!
    Unfortunately, our current President and Government leaders test out as being stuck at about 3 years old on that skill scale. That is the reason for the pursed lips and temper tantrums to get our way. (A 2year old has temper tantrums because he/she can’t help it. It is direct, uncontrolled communication. A 3 year old stages temper tantrums to force someone to give him what he wants. ANY GRANDMA KNOWS THAT!)

    • That is a great deal of shouting on your part. So, when the government does what you want, it is doing a good job, but when it meets someone else’s needs it is lining the pockets of greedy and odious people. Sounds pretty simple and ego centered. You should read the the document that established this nation. The principles of the Founding seem far from yours.

      • Linda Whitney at Staples

        In this case, a whole hearted yes!!
        It’s not about what I want or YOU want, it’s about what WE AS A COLLECTIVE WANT!!!
        It takes a lot of people cooperating to rise above the greed of the individual for personal power and ego aggrandizement…. to develop a strong, ultimately supportive to the individual as equal to all of his brothers/sisters, VALUE system.
        Yes I OFTEN SHOUT to open the eyes and ears of people like you if only for a second. You want to rewrite all of our human understanding and striving for justice, mercy, and compassion- the things that save us from ourselves and the ego madness that you display- to rationalize your greed for other people’s GOODS.
        You and the banks.
        You and Pharma- paid much attention to the disclaimers on the incredible number of Pharma ads on TV now!!
        You and the insurance industry that has waged its own $ war on the ACA because they demand more profit from the system!! Health care for profit???
        How do you think that’s going to work out?? You sound pretty young and juvenile. Maybe you don’t have the experience to care yet!!
        Well, you will. Your mentors are poisoning you with mercury from dirty coal as we speak. You will begin to understand health care and prevention as you eat more mercury infused veggies for your health provided by the mercury rain watering veggies everywhere, just a byproduct of dirty coal. We are WAY BEYOND the ACID RAIN of the 70s.
        Oh, oh and BTW any children or grandchildren you will EVER HAVE from your generation, have a 1 in about 68 births chance of being on the Autism Spectrum.
        The Spectrum in Pediatrics starts with ADD/ADHD and ends with Aspbergers and full blown- out of the realm of communication because their bodies are so poisoned that they CANT STAND TO BE IN YOUR WORLD OR MINE!!!
        You know, that’s why I shout…
        BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT LISTENING to the feedback from the world you live in. Talk about seeing and hearing ONLY WHAT YOU WANT TO!! Head up your..
        or buried in the sand? Time to come out of hiding and start DEALING WITH THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE OVERWHELMING YOU!!
        Playing the I’m going to be one of the rich and famous game like a kid shooting baskets in Harlem is going to be on the NBA is not going to get you anywhere. ESPECIALLY NOW IN THIS COUNTRY. Unless you KNOW somebody- and maybe you think you do- your mentors will not let you succeed!! There is VERY LITTLE ROOM AT THE TOP!! FAMILY ONLY!!!
        Go back to school and find out how economics works!!

      • Linda Whitney at Staples

        I don’t think you understand the principles of the founding. They were trying to avoid future king ships. You and your buds are trying to create one!!

  9. Linda Whitney at Staples

    Is Westport PROUD of having the top tier personalities in the worst government system with the worst value system defining it that the US has EVER PRODUCED?

    God help us!!!
    I HOPE NOT.
    Come on Westport.
    Pay your debt for your MADMEN promotion that helped us get here!!
    Supply the ANTIDOTE to your misguided ambitions.
    Work for a government for the people not a gerrymandered, lawyers against justice, “businessmen” who lie, cheat and steal for personal gain- who WILL poison you AND YOUR CHILDREN for their PROFIT!!!

    AND BTW THEY ALSO BELIEVE THE FEWER OF US, the more food for them!! So, yes, they want us to die in large numbers- we are overpopulated!!
    AND, yes, like Don Imus, past resident of Southport, they don’t want everyone to be Millionairs because, like Don, that would make their millions meaningless!!

    AND, The fundamentalist Christians among them who believe in being part of the chosen 500 to experience the Rapture and Ascention to Heaven, Really need Armageddon to fulfill their destiny!!
    That means that, sorry, all of the rest of us must die in a fiery blaze of the destruction of the world because, afterall AND obviously, we ARE NOT CHOSEN!!! We have to support their mythology by being the sacrificial pigs!!!!

    What kind of a VALUE SYSTEM is that?
    Is that the redefined Christianity that started out by CHRIST saying “love your brother as yourself!!” “Take care of each other and of the earth!!”
    You guys need to go back to bible study!!!! You are going to be mighty confused when St. Peter doesn’t even let you in for your selfish, punishing, and evil motivated harm of your brothers EVERYWHERE!! YES, you men in the sheets ESPECIALLY!!

    Oh, and by the way, big news on the science front!! We ALL CAME FROM ABOUT 200 people who left Ethiopia about 50,000years ago. DNA CANNOT LIE!
    So, WE ARE ALL BLACK. INCLUDING YOU UNDER THE SHEETS!!! You know, one drop of black blood… Too bad you didn’t inherit any rhythm. I think that’s been your problem all along!!!
    ENJOY the knowledge of who you REALLY ARE!!

    • Bruce J. Kent

      First Epistle to The Corinthians……………

    • One further order we must give you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: don’t associate with the brother whose life is undisciplined, and who despises the teaching we gave him. You know well that we ourselves are your examples here, and that our lives among you were never undisciplined. We did not eat anyone’s food without paying for it. In fact we toiled and laboured night and day to avoid being the slightest expense to any of you. This was not because we had no right to ask our necessities of you, but because we wanted to set you an example. When we were actually with you we gave you this principle to work on: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” Now we hear that you have some among you living quite undisciplined lives, never doing a stroke of work, and busy only in other people’s affairs. Our order to such men, indeed our appeal by the Lord Jesus Christ, is to settle down to work and eat the food they have earned themselves.

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