Former FDA Commissioner joins Pfizer’s board of directors

Former FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, who stepped down from the administration in April, has joined Pfizer’s board of directors.

Former FDA Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb speaking at the Healthy Returns conference in New York City on 21 May 2019 (Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/CNBC).

Pfizer has announced that Scott Gottlieb, who stepped down as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner in April, will join the pharmaceutical company’s board of directors.

Gottlieb resigned from the FDA this spring after nearly two years at the helm. During this time, Gottlieb advanced a number of prescription drug policies, including to push the FDA to speed up generic drug approvals and use its powers to encourage wider use of biosimilars, or copycat versions of complex and often costly biologic drugs.

Pfizer has complained about roadblocks stalling biosimilars from becoming widely used and the company has said that having Gottlieb to advise the company could help it navigate the landscape.

The company’s CEO Albert Bourla, who succeeded Ian Read on 1 January, reorganised the company’s senior management team last year and is leading the effort to streamline the company, with it announcing plans last July to reorganise itself into three units, separating out its consumer healthcare business that it had been trying to sell.

“We are fortunate to have Dr Gottlieb join Pfizer’s board of directors,” said Pfizer Executive Chairman and former CEO Ian Read in a statement. “Scott’s expertise in health care, public policy and the industry will be an asset to our company and enable our shareholders to continue to benefit from a Board representing a balance of experience, competencies and perspectives.”

Since leaving the FDA, Gottlieb has returned to the American Enterprise Institute as a resident fellow and as a special partner at venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, where he worked before joining the FDA.