Source: Trump picks former FDA official to head agency

Donald Trump_589090

President Donald Trump speaks to a meeting of the National Governors Association, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) – A White House official says President Donald Trump is choosing a conservative doctor-turned-pundit with deep ties to Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry to lead the powerful Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb would be tasked with Trump’s goal of cutting red tape at the FDA, which regulates everything from pharmaceuticals to seafood to electronic cigarettes. Trump has called the FDA’s drug approval process “slow and burdensome,” despite changes to speed reviews, particularly of cutting-edge products.

Gottlieb served as a deputy commissioner under George W. Bush and currently is a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a partner in the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the nomination has not been formally announced.

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