Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned today. According to an administration official, Commissioner Gottlieb, 46, wants to spend more time with his family in Connecticut. He will leave his post in about a month.
Gottlieb was well regarded, and according to The Washington Post, which first reported the news, the White House did not seek his resignation. President Trump applauded Gottlieb via Twitter for lowering drug prices and getting generic drugs approved during his time at the FDA.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also praised him in a statement: “[Gottlieb] has been an exemplary public health leader, aggressive advocate for American patients, and passionate promoter of innovation…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.”
Gottlieb was criticized by some conservatives for his controversial plan to restrict e-cigarette sales and curb underaged vaping. His plan recently entered official review and is expected to move forward despite his departure.
The impact of the FDA shakeup on the food industry is yet to be determined, but will likely depend on who takes his place. As Food Processing pointed out, Gottlieb moved several Obama-era initiatives forward, including mandatory GMO labeling and the new Nutrition Facts label.