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New Head of FDA Confirmed – Dr. Scott GottliebMay 9th, 2017
Dr. Scott Gottlieb has been confirmed as the next head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Voting 57-42 on May 9, the Senate sends Gottlieb to replace Robert Califf and launch an agenda that focuses on fighting the growing opioid abuse epidemic, as well as streamlining the drug-approval process. Dr. Gottlieb’s nomination and subsequent confirmation were met with cautious approval from the premium cigar industry, as the physician has been critical of FDA’s past overreach in attempting to regulate handmade cigars: “[T]he rising use of machine-made cigars by underage smokers has long troubled the FDA. But the new regulation apparently wouldn’t clearly distinguish these cheap, small cigars from larger, premium brands smoked by adults,” wrote Gottlieb, in a 2012 op-ed to the New York Post.
In reaction to Dr. Gottlieb’s confirmation, Mark Pursell, CEO of the International Premium Cigars and Pipe Retailers Association, was optimistic: “Dr. Gottlieb repeatedly stressed that he will rely on science and common sense, not ideology, to guide his time as commissioner.”
Though the Trump administration has made regulatory reform a cornerstone of its agenda, no mention has been made of FDA’s 2016 Final Deeming Rule that affects premium cigars.
Dr. Gottlieb returns to the FDA, having served as deputy commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs during President George W. Bush’s administration.