This surprise decision comes just two months after Gottlieb tweeted that he wouldn't be resigning from the FDA anytime soon, stating:
"I want to be very clear – I'm not leaving. We've got a lot of important policy we'll advance this year. I look forward to sharing my 2019 strategic roadmap soon."
Infamous for his determined crusade to stamp out both tobacco and kratom (mitragyna speciosa) products from the consumer marketplace, Gottlieb has long been criticized for being the only FDA commissioner to ever work for Big Pharma prior to being nominated. Gottlieb also holds investments in 20 different health care companies that manufacture products he and the FDA were responsible for regulating – this being a major conflict of interest.
On the positive side, Gottlieb is credited with helping to reduce drug prices while also contributing to reductions in youth smoking rates.
"Scott Gottlieb, who has done an absolutely terrific job as Commissioner of the FDA, plans to leave government service sometime next month," President Trump tweeted following the announcement.
"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. He and his talents will be greatly missed!"
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Many health freedom advocates are breathing a big sigh of relief following the announcement of Gottlieb's resignation, seeing as how the man was determined to make even more plants targets in the government's war on "drugs."
Back on November 14, 2017, for instance, Gottlieb tweeted about how the FDA was "actively working with our partners at the Drug Enforcement Administration to further evaluate kratom and determine how it should be scheduled," linking to government propaganda about the "dangers" of this safe, plant-based herbal alternative to opioids.
Gottlieb also had a fixation on eliminating free access to tobacco, particularly among children. As unsavory as many people might find cigarettes to be, they're still made from a natural botanical, minus all the added chemicals, which means they're outside the jurisdiction of the FDA.
At the same time, Gottlieb saw nothing wrong with granting approval for Dsuvia, a powerful opioid drug that opponents of its approval warned would lead to more overdose deaths among addicts.
Though it's unclear at this point who will take Gottlieb's place, the hope is that it'll be someone who's not connected to Big Pharma, and who will respect the right of all Americans to use plant-based botanicals as part of their health regimens, if they so choose.
"While there is much to admire about the work that Dr. Gottlieb did in public health, his crusade against kratom clearly ignored both the science and sound public policy when it came to addressing how best to serve kratom consumers and their rights to exercise their freedoms in choosing dietary ingredients as an alternative to prescription drugs and opioids," reads a statement issued by the American Kratom Association following Gottlieb's announcement.
"AKA is pleased that agencies within the Trump Administration, other than the FDA, have shown a willingness to challenge the bias against dietary ingredients and supplements that are safely used by millions of Americans to manage their own health and well-being."
Sources for this article include: