Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, announced Tuesday that he will leave his post within the next month.
“There’s perhaps nothing that could pull me away from this role other than the challenge of being apart from my family for these past two years and missing my wife and three young children,” Gottlieb said in a statement.
“This is a very special institution, and the work that binds us in a shared mission is inspiring. I know that the opportunity to serve in this role was a privilege, and an endeavor that I’ll never be able to replicate in my professional life.”
Gottlieb was appointed commissioner by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate on May 9, 2017. He had previously served the FDA as its deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs.
“Scott has helped us to lower drug prices, get a record number of generic drugs approved and onto the market, and so many other things,” President Trump tweeted. “He and his talents will be greatly missed!”
Gottlieb said in his statement that he’ll continue to work to secure the FDA’s 2020 budget and help transition the agency to new leadership in his final weeks.
“All of us at HHS are proud of the remarkable work Commissioner Gottlieb has done at the FDA,” said Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement. “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.
“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.”
Much of Gottlieb’s tenure was focused on the country’s opioid crisis and youth e-cigarette use. Earlier this week, Gottlieb and the FDA escalated their “forceful” crackdown on retailers and manufactures that allegedly sell nicotine-based products to minors.
“I’ll depart knowing that the FDA is strong, its people outstanding, and its mission well recognized and deeply respected across the government, and indeed, across the world,” said Gottlieb. “… I consider myself truly fortunate to have had the chance to help lead this remarkable institution.”