Three things stand out about his nomination:
1. Dr. Gottlieb has garnered the support of a wide range of patient organizations and medical associations. The same coalition supported Dr. Rob Califf’s nomination in 2016.
2. The same groups and individuals who oppose Dr. Califf’s nomination are opposing Scott. Apart from the Senators who opposed both individuals to demonstrate frustration with the FDA’s response to the opioid addiction problem, the critics are the self-important and self-serving hacks from Public Citizen along with smug academics whose names I will not repeat.
3. Both Dr. Gottlieb and Dr. Califf are deeply committed to changing the paradigm of FDA approval by working with talented individuals inside the agency.
Dr. Gottlieb’s nomination reflects a bi-partisan consensus about the role of the FDA that originated with President Obama and the nomination of Dr. Peggy Hamburg: When it comes to evaluating the risk and benefit of innovations that determine not only whether we live or die but how we live and die, patients and their loved ones have as much of say on the basis for approval and regulation as any expert.
Dr. Gottlieb will carry on that tradition. His opponents want to destroy that tradition. Hope vs. hate. Remember that the next time you see a hateful, angry tweet about the next FDA commissioner.