Scott Gottlieb, the head of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), is resigning, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
An official told The Washington Post that Gottlieb is stepping down to spend more time with his family. He had been commuting weekly to Washington from his home in Connecticut.
“The resignation was not sought by the White House,” according to The Post. “A senior White House official said Gottlieb had spoken to the president, who liked the FDA chief and did not want him to leave. While Gottlieb had some policy disagreements with the White House, he is well respected, and could even be invited back to another post, two officials said.”
Gottlieb is resigning as the White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing his signature campaign against teen vaping. That plan would restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and received pushback from some who perceived it as going against the president’s agenda to reduce government regulation.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised Gottleib in a statement Tuesday.
“All of us at HHS are proud of the remarkable work Commissioner Gottlieb has done at the FDA,” he said. “He has been an exemplary public health leader, aggressive advocate for American patients, and passionate promoter of innovation. …The public health of our country is better off for the work Scott and the entire FDA team have done over the last two years.”
The Post noted that Gottlieb listed some of his accomplishments with the agency in his resignation letter to Azar, including "accelerating the approval of generic drugs and modernizing the process for handling novel gene and precision therapies to treat those with cancer and other dread diseases."