Survey: 54% of physicians concerned about FDA nominee Dr. Scott Gottlieb's conflicts of interest

Emily Rappleye (Twitter) - Print  | 

Physicians are divided on the potential appointment of Scott Gottlieb, MD, as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, according to a survey from MDLinx, an online physician forum.

The survey polled 527 MDLinx physicians for their opinions on Dr. Gottlieb, who previously served as the FDA deputy commissioner for policy. MDLinx found 54.5 percent of respondents were concerned Dr. Gottlieb's consulting work presented a potential conflict of interest with the FDA job.

"We all know that the FDA is run more by financial interests than true science," one respondent wrote in the comments section of the survey. "I do not think he will lead the FDA in any meaningful way away from that sad tradition."

Respondent opinions were scattered, however, on how effectual Dr. Gottlieb would be in the head FDA role. Of those surveyed, 24.4 percent said they thought he "may be good" for the pharmaceutical regulatory process, while 21.8 percent said his appointment "may harm" the process. Slightly more than 19 percent of respondents were unsure and 15.6 percent said they felt the appointment would be "very bad" for the pharmaceutical regulatory process.

One respondent said, "I know he is a lock for the job and will assume the duty. I would only hope as a physician who took care of patients in the far distant past, he would still consider them first as a physician rather [than] an agent of pharma and big government. He has a great amount of business experience and is very skilled in interactions with various entities, which could be very beneficial for patients."

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions delayed a vote on Dr. Gottlieb's nomination until Thursday morning, according to the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.


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