Conservatives should love Trump's pick for FDA chief — here's why
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President Trump has knocked it out of the park with a number of his appointees: Betsy DeVos now heads the Department of Education, Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds MORE is our new attorney general, and of course Neil Gorsuch will fill the late, great Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court. By and large, Trump’s picks have the chops to drain the swamp of bureaucracy — the perpetual weight on American prosperity and innovation.

Count Scott Gottlieb among the president’s winning choices.

Trump’s nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration is a conservative with the right experience and, perhaps more importantly, attention to detail. As a deputy FDA commissioner under former President George W. Bush and as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Gottlieb has studied the ins and outs of some of the most important FDA-related issues of our time. As Fox News’s Marc Siegel describes him, “Gottlieb understands the importance of the FDA in establishing and policing successful treatments. He has written extensively about the importance of timely vaccines for dangerous diseases, including influenza.”

Dr. Siegel can’t sing Gottlieb’s praises enough. “Scott Gottlieb will never be asleep at the switch,” he says.

Whereas so much of Washington is stocked with bureaucrats, whose main function seems to be to keep their heads down and protect their jobs, Gottlieb, a physician, has been outspoken about some of the most pertinent healthcare issues affecting individuals and families across the country.

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And he has been sounding the alarm for some time.

 

Writing at Forbes in 2013, Gottlieb was concerned about the impending damage ObamaCare would bring. “The bigger story of the Obamacare launch isn’t its failed website, but how many big insurers sat out of this program, even after brow beating from the White House,” he wrote in October 2013. “After what’s likely to unfold this year, and the unfavorable pool that’s taking shape, these insurers will have even more economic incentive to stay out of Obamacare.”

Obviously, he was right.

Forbes’s Matthew Herper has put together a number of Gottlieb’s columns to “Show How Scott Gottlieb Might Run the FDA,” on everything from prescription drug pricing to what reforms he believes the FDA should enact in how the agency regulates new healthcare technologies. As an example, Gottlieb wrote in January 2013 that the "FDA needs to more closely focus its organizational structure and its regulatory programs on measures of risk, and move away from its structural legacy that oriented its review programs mostly around discrete clinical areas of medicine.”

Former FDA Commissioners Robert Califf, Margaret Hamburg and Mark McClellan are endorsing Trump’s pick, and among the groups already supporting Gottlieb is the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

Gottlieb is a cancer survivor who has long been an advocate for making it easier for patients to get the medical treatment they need more quickly.

"Europeans are now approving novel drugs an average of three months more rapidly than we do," Gottlieb wrote at The Wall Street Journal in 2010. "What’s more, the clinical trial requirements that the FDA is imposing on cancer drugs with accelerated approval are now as burdensome as the requirements imposed on regular drugs.”

“So, practically speaking, having ‘accelerated approval’ doesn’t mean anything,” he complained.

As head of the FDA, Gottlieb would have the opportunity to make that agency more responsive to those who desperately need treatments without the federal government continuing to make the process too slow. It is a vitally important issue that could literally mean life or death for the sickest among us.

Not surprisingly some patients’ groups have been ecstatic about Gottlieb’s nomination.

Bottom line: The FDA could use a conservative shake-up, and President Trump could not have picked a better choice than Scott Gottlieb.

 

David Bozell is president of ForAmerica, the nation's largest active online conservative network, with nearly 8 million supporters.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.