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Managed Healthcare Executive and Food Chemical News recently interviewed Venable partner Todd Harrison following the nomination of Scott Gottlieb to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Gottlieb's science background and prior high-level stints at the FDA, including serving as a deputy commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Policy under President George W. Bush, are good indications that he will be able to guide the FDA in fulfilling its science-based regulatory obligations," Harrison told Managed Healthcare Executive in a March 24, 2017, article. "He also currently sits on the Federal Health IT Policy Committee, which advises the Department of Health and Human Services on healthcare IT issues, so he should have ready insight into how FDA can address these types of issues as it regulates industry."

In the same interview, Harrison said he expects Gottlieb to focus on reforms to the FDA's review and approval process. "He's on record as supporting the 21st Century Cures Act, which became law in December 2016," he said. "The act contains several provisions meant to reform FDA's drug approval processes, so he may be expected to embrace and push for their rapid implementation."

Speaking with Food Chemical News on March 22, Harrison called Gottlieb's nomination "a home run for pharma" especially with the administration's desire to get more drugs approved. On food labeling, Harrison said, "I hope he takes another look at the added sugars policy," and predicted he would revisit the definition of dietary fiber. Regarding proposed budget cuts to the FDA, Harrison said, "I understand the angst, but if you get good people working for you, and know what they're doing, and they're smart, they should be efficient."