Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb joins Pfizer board

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Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb will join the board of directors of Pfizer, the company announced Thursday.

Gottlieb stepped down in April after running the FDA for two years and is currently a resident at the American Enterprise Institute.

{mosads}One of his main priorities at the agency was to speed up the approval of new treatments, especially generic drugs and biosimilars — identical copies of a complex drug manufactured by a different company.

Manufacturers have complained about regulatory roadblocks that prevent biosimilars from being more widely used. Pfizer has biosimilars to four of the top 10 biologic drugs on the market.

“Scott’s expertise in health care, public policy and the industry will be an asset to our company and enable our shareholders to continue to benefit from a Board representing a balance of experience, competencies and perspectives,” said Pfizer Executive Chairman Ian Read.

Gottlieb was a key player in the Trump administration’s push to lower drug costs and helped the administration target industry practices that he said were anti-competitive and kept prices high. 

Pfizer has taken heat for high prices. Last summer, the company agreed to postpone some of its annual price hikes after President Trump tweeted that Pfizer and other drugmakers “should be ashamed” for raising prices.

However, the company reversed course just a few months later and raised prices on 41 drugs starting at the beginning of the year.  

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