The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, also known as the HELP Committee, will conduct a confirmation hearing next Wednesday for Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

The way was cleared for the hearing when Gottlieb submitted all required paperwork to the Office of Government Ethics. In the filings, Gottlieb reportedly outlines how he will realign his finances to eliminate ties he has had with the pharmaceutical industry if he is confirmed as its chief regulator.

Scott Gottlieb
Scott Gottlieb

This realignment will include resigning from boards and consulting jobs, including his position with GlaxoSmithKline Plc. He will divest his holdings from about 20 healthcare companies.

The 44-year old former Associate FDA Commissioner has for the past decade been associated with the capital fund New Enterprise Associates, which invests in life science ventures.

He also will resign from the T.R. Winston & Co. investment firm.

As extensive as his finances may be, Gottlieb is as much known for his writings on FDA medical device and drug issues. He wrote many opinion pieces from his perch as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

With expectations high that Gottlieb will be confirmed as FDA commissioner, HELP Committee members will likely spend much of their time asking him how he will go about implementing the 21st Century Cures Act.

Signed Dec. 13, 2016, by President Barack Obama, the 21st Century Cures Act funded the National Institute of Health, put about $1 billion into states to fight against opioid abuse, and otherwise funds medical research and drug development.

“I look forward to working with him on implementing the 21st Century Cures Act and bringing safe and effective drugs and medical devices to patients more quickly, protecting our nation’s food supply, and promptly reauthorizing the medical product user fee agreements, “ said Chairman Alexander.

If confirmed, Gottlieb will be the 23rd FDA commissioner.

The Gottlieb confirmation hearing begins at 10 a.m. April 5.

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