|FDA nominee Scott Gottlieb (Reuters photo)|
"Gottlieb described the FDA as 'complicit, even if unwittingly,' in helping to fuel the opioid epidemic, Laurie McGinley reports for The Washington Post. "Officials, he said, 'didn't fully recognize the scope of the emerging problem' several years ago and needed a new strategy to combat the issues involved. Developing that strategy, he added, would be his 'highest and most immediate priority' and would involve taking a hard look at the FDA's framework for approving painkillers and pressing for greater availability of nonaddictive painkillers."
"Gottlieb said he would take an 'all-of-the-above approach' in trying to find solutions to the opioid problem but also added that the issue has become too big for the FDA to solve on its own," McGinley writes. He said, “This is a staggering human tragedy that is going to require dramatic action on the part of the agency." Gottlieb, a high-ranking FDA official during the George W. Bush administration, is popular with Republicans and "his confirmation seems all but assured," McGinley reports.