Speculation had been rife that President Trump would nominate Jim O’Neill, an associate of the Silicon Valley billionaire and Trump supporter Peter Thiel to head the FDA.
It would have been a major move in getting the FDA out of the big pharma protection racket.
The New York Times reported just last month:
Mr. O’Neill has argued that companies should not have to prove that their drugs work in clinical trials before selling them to consumers...But Trump, according to multiple reports, has instead gone with Scott Gottlieb described by the Washington Post as someone with "deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry."
Mr. O’Neill is a libertarian who is on the board of the SENS Research Foundation, a charity that funds anti-aging research, and until recently served on the board of the Seasteading Institute, an effort to create new societies at sea.
At an anti-aging conference in 2014, Mr. O’Neill advocated something he called “progressive” approval, in which drugs that were proved safe, but not yet proven effective, could be allowed on the market. “Let people start using them, at their own risk,” Mr. O’Neill said. “Let’s prove efficacy after they’ve been legalized.”
To be sure, Gottlieb would free up some regulations that hamper big pharma but he is no Jim O'Neill.
As The Washington Post notes:
His selection would be a victory for the mainstream pharmaceutical industry, which has little appetite for upending the FDA approval process. Even Democratic critics of the industry, and of Gottlieb himself, privately indicated they preferred him to another frequently mentioned contender, Jim O'Neill, an associate of Silicon Valley billionaire and Trump adviser Peter Thiel.Gottlieb is a member of the product investment board of GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.