Former West Virginia public health chief in the running for US drug czar

President Joe Biden is considering Rahul Gupta, MD, the former West Virginia public health commissioner, to lead his administration's drug policy office, three people familiar with the matter told Politico.

Dr. Gupta, a trained internist, is senior vice president and chief medical and health officer for March of Dimes.

He was chosen last November to lead the White House drug office's transition team and served as West Virginia's commissioner and state health officer from 2015-2018.

During his time as West Virginia public health commissioner, Dr. Gupta led the state's response to the opioid overdose crisis, according to Filter, which first reported him as President Biden's likely drug czar pick. 

Filter reported that Dr. Gupta earned praise related to the opioid crisis, but he has faced questioning from public health and harm reduction experts related to his response to the spread of HIV and other viruses.

Patrice Harris, MD, who was the first African American woman to serve as president of the American Medical Association, is also under consideration for the drug czar post, as is Santa Clara (Calif.) University professor Westley Clark, MD, and Regina LaBelle, acting director of the White House drug office, according to Politico.


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Biden picks Gene Sperling to oversee COVID-19 relief package 

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