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Trump's FDA pick Scott Gottlieb has deep ties to pharma industry

Former FDA deputy director's connections are expected to be seen as conflicts of interest during confirmation process.

Susan Morse, Associate Editor

Former FDA deputy director Scott Gottlieb (via <a href="https://twitter.com/scottgottliebmd">Twitter</a>)Former FDA deputy director Scott Gottlieb (via Twitter)

Physician, former Food and Drug Administration deputy commissioner and former big pharma board member Scott Gottlieb is President Donald Trump's pick to head the FDA, according to published sources.

Gottlieb, 44, served as FDA deputy commissioner under the administration of President George W. Bush, according to Reuters. He is currently assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine.

Gottlieb reportedly has financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that would be seen as conflicts of interest during the confirmation process. He has funded medical startups and has served on the boards of five pharmaceutical companies, including one of the largest, GlaxoSmithKline.

[Also: Seema Verma confirmed as CMS administrator]

Trump has voiced support for deregulating businesses, but pharma executives aren't thrilled about the president's plans to ease FDA regulations, according to Fortune. They fear a less robust FDA would make it harder to secure insurance coverage for pricey new medicines.

Lobbyists and executives at more than a dozen pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms are urging the Trump administration against speeding up the drug approval process and have said the FDA is already adopting new drug development models, according to Fortune and Reuters.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse

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