Scott Gottlieb: The Patient's FDA Commissioner

  • by: Robert Goldberg |
  • 03/14/2017

Dr. Scott Gottlieb

I have worked with Scott Gottlieb for over a decade on making drug development swifter by making it more scientific and increasing patient access to medical innovations.   Scott played an important role in developing the Critical Path Initiative that has been the FDA's roadmap for moving the agency -- and our health care system -- towards predictive, personalized and participatory medicine.  None of the advances in expediting approval of important new medicines would have been possible in the absence of The Critical Path Initiative. 

I could discuss his accomplishments in the post.  But many others will write about Scott's ability and experience in support of his nomination to be FDA commissioner.  A handful will attempt to demonize him for that very experience.  

So let me tell you what I know about the human being who has been nominated to be FDA commissioner. 

 I know of Scott's calm courage after his cancer diagnosis, his devotion to his family and his dedication to the practice of medicine.  For years (until he had children) he was an internist and hospitalist, seeing and healing patients on weekend, evenings and holidays, all the while performing his duties at FDA and CMS.   He loves medicine and that emotion shapes his view about how to best use advances in science to improve the safety and effectiveness of medical technologies.    He is not an ideologue.  He is data-driven and his views and decisions are informed by the kind of robust discussion and debate that is increasingly rare in our public sphere.  

Finally, Scott has never let the intricacies of policy or statistical hair splitting deter him from thinking about the FDA as an institution that has more control over life and death -- as well as how well we live -- than any other agency on earth.   He knows that patients and their families have as much a right to weigh in on FDA decisions as any so-called expert.  The great medical reformer, William Osler once noted: "The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease."  

Scott is a great physician and will be a great FDA commissioner who puts patients first. 


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog