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Sen. Murray Statement on Selection of Dr. Scott Gottlieb for FDA Commissioner

(Washington, D.C.) — Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the selection of Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 


“Whether in the grocery store, the medicine cabinet, or the hospital, the health and safety of every single family is impacted by the FDA. That’s why it’s so important that the FDA has strong and independent leadership—and why the next Commissioner must be truly committed to putting patients and families first.


“I look forward to meeting with Dr. Gottlieb to closely examine his qualifications, record, and plans for the agency to continue our nation’s leadership in developing safe and effective drugs and devices, keeping tobacco out of the hands of children, ensuring food safety, and other efforts to protect public health, as well to encourage a more robust market for generics and biosimilars to help address the astronomically high cost of prescription drugs.  


“In beginning to evaluate Dr. Gottlieb’s nomination, I have initial concerns about how his views would impact our ability to maintain the gold standard of FDA approval. I have also long fought to ensure that medical expertise—not ideology—governs FDA decision-making on critical products, including Plan B, and would find it unacceptable if a nominee for FDA Commissioner showed any sign of failing to uphold that basic standard.


“I also plan to closely review Dr. Gottlieb’s long career in the health sector, including his work with multiple pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, and investment firms, to determine whether financial entanglements or conflicts of interest could impact his decision-making. I will be pushing for a thorough and rigorous hearing process so that Senators have all necessary information to decide whether the interests of patients and families are best served by this nomination.”