A robust FDA is essential to public health, argues Suffolk Law Professor Renée Landers in the STAT article “Scott Gottlieb’s fervor for deregulation could harm patients.”

Gottlieb, who has been nominated for Food and Drug Administration commissioner, is expected to take a “laissez-faire regulatory posture” if approved.

Landers ties that approach to the disaster that occurred when New England Compounding Center (NECC) distributed contaminated steroids that cause 64 deaths and hundreds of serious illnesses. Employees of the firm face charges that include “fraud, murder, and violating federal laws.”

“As the tragic consequences of the NECC episode fade from our collective memory, the Trump administration’s overall deregulatory orientation, deregulatory provisions in newly enacted and proposed laws, and corporate-friendly judicial doctrine constitute a prescription for future public health crises,” writes Landers. “In this context, Gottlieb’s documented advocacy for deregulation is particularly troubling.”

Landers is director of Suffolk University Law School’s health and biomedical law concentration.  She served as deputy general counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services from 1996 to 1997.

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