Former FDA commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb is to join Chantix and Nicotrol-maker Pfizer’s board of directors.

The staunch vape industry critic and frequent user of the phrase ‘youth vaping epidemic’ made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.

 

Pfizer chairman, Ian Read said in a statement:

“We are fortunate to have Dr Gottlieb join Pfizer’s board of directors.

“Scott’s expertise in healthcare, public policy and the industry will be an asset to our company and enable our shareholders to continue to benefit from a board representing a balance of experience, competencies and perspectives.”

An opinion piece written by Gottlieb was published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, outlining the challenge the FDA faces in ‘preserv[ing] e-cigarettes as a tool to help adult smokers while snuffing out the teen vaping epidemic.’

The former FDA chief laid out two potential pathways for FDA-approval that could split the vaping industry in two.

New open-tank systems would continue to follow the costly Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) system to gain authorisation as ‘tobacco’ products. No vaping products have met these requirements yet.

Meanwhile, JUUL and other pod systems Gottlieb believes are responsible for ‘widespread use by kids’ would have to prove a ‘net public health benefit’ in order to be approved as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Vape products for OTC-use would be treated like nicotine patches and gums but would be subject to much stricter safeguards.

The FDA issued a guidance document earlier this year for the development of OTC ‘orally inhaled nicotine-containing drug products’ that would be distinct from the ‘tobacco’ products currently on the market.

Read more about the FDA and Big Pharma’s interest in prescription vape products in ‘Vapouround Investigates: Vaping Causes Seizures Claim’ in Issue 23 of Vapouround Magazine.