Pfizer names former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb to its board

FILE PHOTO: FDA Commissioner Gottlieb poses at Reuters in New York

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc <PFE.N> said on Thursday it has named former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to its board of directors, effective immediately.

Gottlieb stepped down abruptly as the FDA chief in March this year, a role he had held since May 2017.

He was well-regarded by public health advocates and won bipartisan support for his efforts to curb use of flavored e-cigarettes by youths.

Unlike his predecessors, who said drug pricing was not the purview of the FDA, Gottlieb waded into the intensifying debate about the high cost of medicines for U.S. consumers and had the agency actively looking into possible solutions.

Gottlieb ran into fierce opposition from anti-regulation groups such as Americans for Tax Reform and former FDA officials, who said the agency's regulatory efforts would destroy thousands of jobs.

Pfizer has also appointed Gottlieb to the board's regulatory and compliance as well as the science and technology committees.

(Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)