WSJ, NYT Quote Leslie Kiernan on FDA Nominee Scott Gottlieb Recusal Question

Akin Gump litigation partner Leslie Kiernan was quoted by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times regarding the question of recusals that would be necessary were Scott Gottlieb, whom Kiernan represents, confirmed to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The publications note that Gottlieb plans to recuse himself for a year from any decisions the agency would make on more than 20 companies, among them such industry giants as GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Bristol-Myers Squibb Inc., due to his recent work for these companies.

In “FDA Nominee Scott Gottlieb Plans Recusals From Decisions on Many Drug Firms,” the Journal quoted Kiernan as saying, “Every nominee who goes into government from private industry will have some recusals. But Scott brings a unique combination of experience. He understands how startups work, and it’s valuable for a regulator to understand this.”

The Times quoted her as saying that his recusal plan has been approved by federal ethics officials and that FDA commissioners are not typically involved in matters specific to individual companies. She added, “Every individual who goes into government from the private sector with experience in the industry is going to have some recusals. The key role of the commissioner is to set broad policies for the agency.”