Senate Democrats have raised the alarm on President Trump's nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), calling it a ''dangerous'' choice.
In a call with reporters yesterday, Democratic Senators Ed Markey from Massachusetts and Sherrod Brownd from Democrat-Ohio pointed out that, with his close connection to the pharmaceutical industry, Scott Gottlieb was not fit to fight the opioid epidemic.
''We are suffering this public health epidemic because big pharma pushed pills they knew were dangerous and addictive, the FDA approved them, often without expert counsel, and doctors - because they do not have mandatory education on these drugs - prescribed them,'' Markey said.
According to Brown the FDA needed a leader to ratchet the agency's efforts to fight addiction, not someone who will ''roll over for his big pharma friends.''
Gottlieb's nomination hearing is set for later today, when he will answer questions from members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Gottlieb, who had served as deputy FDA commissioner during the George W Bush administration, had according to reports, been a consultant to some of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
An USA Taday article said that Gottlieb was a medical school professor with experience in bureaucracy and a long, pro-science resume, which made him an excellent choice to head the Food and Drug Administration.
It said that the formidable agency faced many obstacles in the coming years, of which red tape was the most serious. ''His (Gottlieb's) primary concern should be to cut that red tape, which has caused the FDA to become slow-moving and overly cautious.''