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Ex-FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb Defends Return To Private Sector, Warren Calls For Resignation

Ex-FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb Defends Return To Private Sector, Warren Calls For Resignation

It didn't take long for ex-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to land a new gig: he joined Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)'s board of directors and signed on as a partner at the venture capital firm NEA.

On Tuesday, Gottlieb was a guest on CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment to address concerns over what could be seen as the "revolving door" between Washington, D.C. and private companies.

What Happened

Gottlieb said he is "very confident" about his performance leading the FDA and said he acted in the interest of public health.

Prior to joining the government, he worked in the life sciences industry, so the transition back to the private sector is merely a return to what he was doing before working for the FDA, he said.

Gottlieb is returning to the same venture capital firm he worked at prior to the FDA, along with the same think tank in Washington.

Why It's Important

Prior to joining the FDA, Gottlieb said he also worked with large drug makers — although holding a board seat is "clearly a bigger role" compared to prior jobs.

"I had expertise in the life sciences and made my living trying to promote innovation in this sector prior to coming into the agency," he said.

Regardless of his comments, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote in a letter obtained by CNBC that said Gottlieb's move "smacks of corruption."

It "makes the American people rightly cynical and distrustful about whether high-level Trump administration officials are working for them, or for their future corporate employers."

What's Next

Warren is calling on Gottlieb to "immediately resign" as a Pfizer board member, and said doing so send a "strong and necessary message" about the integrity of federal officials.

Pfizer shares were up 0.69% at $44.06 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

Related Links:

FDA Commissioner: Regulatory Process For CBD Edibles Kicks Off With April Hearings

Markets React Amid Report FDA Commish Scott Gottlieb Will Resign

FDA photo via Wikimedia


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