Last week Scott Gottlieb was appointed as the new FDA Commissioner. Gottlieb is a physician, health policy expert, and venture capitalist. He previously served as a deputy FDA Commissioner under the George W. Bush administration.
This was always going to be a vital appointment for the vaping industry. However, the fact that from March 2015 to May 2016 Gottlieb was a director of and investor in Kure Corporation (a Charlotte, North Carolina based e-cig and e-liquid vendor) makes it particularly interesting.
Gottlieb promised in his filing, approved by the Office of Government Ethics, that in addition to selling his shares he would recuse himself from any matters concerning Kure for one year from the time he resigned from the board. Although only committed to one year, he stated that he would heed advice if it was felt that this should be extended for two years.
Despite the fact he has recused himself, his appointment brings optimism to the vaping world, especially in light of the fact President Trump campaigned on easing regulations for US companies. Just last week it was announced that all the FDA deeming regulation deadlines are to be extended by three months. “This extension will allow new leadership at the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services additional time to more fully consider issues raised by the final rule that are now the subject of multiple lawsuits in federal court,” stated Lindsay R. Tobias, an FDA policy analyst.
Hope springs eternal for vaping in the USA. Maybe, just maybe, the odds are starting to stack in our favor.