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FDA Commissioner Gottlieb, Who Raised Alarms about Teen Vaping and the Opiod Epidemic, Resigns

Updated: Jul 17

McGinley, Bernstein, Dawsey, Mar 5. Washington Post

Summarized by: Linda Zheng

The FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, submitted his resignation letter on March 5, 2019, effective next month. Gottlieb has been commuting between his home in Connecticut and DC every weekend, and desires more family time. The 46-year-old physician, former venture capitalist, drug consultant, and cancer survivor, was well-respected by the FDA staff, thus, his resignation came as a surprise. Some of Gottlieb’s most profound legacies include banning menthol in cigarettes, reducing nicotine levels in cigarettes to make them “minimally addicting”, restricting sale of e-cigarettes to youth and discouraging teenage vaping. Additionally, he addressed the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency, scrutinized painkiller medications on the market and those upcoming in the pipeline, and was responsible for packaging opioids in small packs to prevent overuse. Furthermore, he was involved in accelerating the approval process for generic drugs (971 approved in 2018, a record amount), reducing drug costs, and modernizing the process of discovering novel and precision therapies of fatal diseases. It is unclear at this point if his successor will embrace and carry forward his work, or if there is a successor at all.

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