Dr. Scott Gottlieb will be nominated as the next FDA commissioner by President Donald Trump, according to multiple media reports Friday.
A well-known conservative health policy expert, Gottlieb, 42, has been the frontrunner candidate for the top FDA job given his close ties to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. He previously served as deputy FDA commissioner under President George W. Bush.
Gottlieb is also the preferred pick of the drug industry and healthcare investors.
If confirmed, Gottlieb is expected to implement Trump's stated desire to cut regulations at the FDA and accelerate the approval of new drugs in order to increase competition and lower drug prices.
How, exactly, Gottlieb goes about achieving those goals remains to be seen. In years of published writing and speeches, Gottlieb has criticized the FDA for being too bureaucratic and risk averse, particularly when it comes to medical devices. He's also advocated for faster approvals of orphan drugs and generic medicines, including copies of biotech drugs, or biosimilars.
What he has not done (at least not yet) is push for the approval of new drugs based on safety data alone, like some of the other potential FDA commissioner candidates considered for the job by Trump and his team.
His more pragmatic approach to FDA reform is why Gottlieb has been viewed favorably by the drug industry.