US Food and Drug Administration Chief Scott Gottlieb decided to tender his resignation which took everyone by surprise. His departure is a potential blow to the health care industry. Dr.Scott Gottleib – a physician, a medical policy expert, and public health advocate was sworn in as the 23rd Commissioner of FDA.
He became the commissioner at a critical time when healthcare was too scared and slow to adopt new changes, new technologies. The agency was worried about the hike in prices of pharmaceuticals, questionings on prescription for opioids and youth addiction to electronic cigarettes. These concerns increased the urgency of its mission to improve the downgrading Pharma sector.
Although the FDA cannot control the prices of drugs still Gottlieb used his position as Chief to limit the competition and deciding which drug will make it to the market. Being a cancer-survivor he worked to restrain the youth from getting addicted to nicotine. The restrictions on menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, and flavored e-cigarettes to anyone under 21 were imposed during his tenure.
In his two years, the FDA was able to publish a list of branded drugs with no generic competition. It was also successful in pinpointing the copycat drug makers. Gottlieb focused on modernizing the health care sector. Through a digital health software program- Pre-Cert, he paved way for tech companies like Apple and SAMSUNG to establish their low-risk health products. Recently, Apple got clearance to launch an electrocardiogram app and sensor on its Apple Watch.
The news of his resignation affected the shares of small biotech companies like SPRD and S&P biotech exchange. But the giants like Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer were unmoved. Shares of large tobacco industries like Altria spiked briefly as well. This news might be beneficial to the Tobacco industry if the bans imposed are removed by the FDA in near future.