The 46-year-old Gottlieb, who has been commuting weekly to the FDA office here from his home in Connecticut, wants to spend more time with his family, an administration official told The Washington Post.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed the departure, saying in a statement, “All of us at HHS are proud of the remarkable work Commissioner Gottlieb has done at the FDA. He has been an exemplary public health leader, aggressive advocate for American patients, and passionate promoter of innovation. I will personally miss working with Scott on the important goals we share, and I know that is true for so many other members of the HHS family.”
President Trump liked Gottlieb and did not want him to leave, the newspaper said. The commissioner could reportedly even be invited back to another post.
The resignation surprised some FDA officials because Gottlieb recently hired senior staff and was aggressively pursuing several programs, including a curb on youth vaping. He also has championed generic drugs as an answer to the high cost of prescription medications.
Gottlieb was sworn in as FDA commissioner of food on May 11, 2017. A physician, medical policy expert, and public health advocate, he previously served as the agency’s deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs and, before that, as a senior advisor to the commissioner.
He also worked on implementation of the Medicare drug benefit as a senior advisor to the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he supported policy work on quality improvement and the agency’s coverage process, particularly as it related to new medical technologies.
In 2013 Gottlieb was appointed by the Senate to serve on the Federal Health Information Technology Policy Committee, which advises HHS on health care information technology.
He was previously a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan, where he also practiced medicine as a hospital physician.