Dr. Scott Gottlieb confirmed as FDA commissioner: 5 things to know

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Scott Gottlieb, MD, as the new Food and Drug Administration commissioner, reports The New York Times.

Here are five things to know.

1. Senators confirmed Dr. Gottlieb in a 57-42 vote, largely along party lines.

2. Many democratic Senators expressed concern over Dr. Gottlieb's extensive ties to pharmaceutical industry during his confirmation hearing and a debate before the vote.

"He has not convinced me he can withstand political pressure from this administration, or that he will be truly committed to putting our families' health first," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said prior to Tuesday's vote, according to The New York Times. "I've grown increasingly concerned about whether he can lead the FDA. in an unbiased way, given his unprecedented industry ties."

3. As FDA commissioner, Dr. Gottlieb will step down from his board positions, divest his interests in healthcare companies and recuse himself from any regulatory matters involving companies he has direct connections to for one year. "I want to earn and keep the public's trust," Dr. Gottlieb said during his confirmation hearing. "I recognize the importance of bringing impartiality to this role."

4. HHS Secretary Tom Price said Dr. Gottlieb's background with the drug industry "will be crucial" for upholding the FDA's high safety standards, "while advancing new, innovative solutions" for public health issues, according to The New York Times.

5. Dr. Gottlieb's main priorities at the FDA will be speeding up generic drug approvals — particularly those for more expensive, complex drugs — and addressing the opioid epidemic, according to the report.

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