Hurry up and wait at FDA

New FDA commissioner could be Gottlieb, but not until June

President Donald Trump has shown more interest in FDA than most recent presidents, prompting speculation in Washington that he plans to rapidly appoint an activist commissioner. Trump fueled the rumors when he told pharma CEOs on Jan. 31 that he had selected a “fantastic person” to lead the agency who would be named “fairly soon.”

In fact, the announcement is a month to six weeks away, and Senate confirmation might not come until June, according to people who are helping nominees prepare to run the confirmation gauntlet.

Scott Gottlieb remains the leading candidate, an individual who is involved with the selection process told BioCentury.

Trump’s pick for FDA commissioner is unlikely to be unveiled until after announcement of an HHS deputy secretary nominee, according to the source, who did not want to be identified.

The pace of nominations for subcabinet positions “suggests they are being careful with vetting,” Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute, a think tank, told BioCentury. Troy served in a number of

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