The NWHN’s Statement on the Resignation of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb 

The following statement can be attributed to Cynthia A. Pearson, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network. 

Washington D.C. -- Today, US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced his plan to leave the FDA in about a month.  

Prior to his confirmation, the NWHN raised concerns about Gottlieb’s approach to women’s health, his close ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and his willingness to put politics over science at the FDA.  

Last year, the NWHN awarded him mixed grades, highlighting the agency’s good work on several women’s health products but criticizing him for his attempt to quietly downgrade the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health, which has proven invaluable for responding to consumer concerns and funding critical research. Coded in deceptively bland language and buried in the 31st paragraph of a long office reorganization memo, Gottlieb sought to defund, demote, and prevent it from doing its workThe NWHN helped organize a successful lightning-speed advocacy campaign to save the officeand he was ultimately forced to back down within a week. 

With Gottlieb leaving, the NWHN calls on the Trump administration to nominate an FDA commissioner with a demonstrated background in science and a proven respect for women’s health. As true today as when our members petitioned the administration in 2017: “We rely on the FDA to make evidence-based decisions about the food, drug, and medical products we use every day. We don’t want drugs and devices rushed to market that have never been proven safe or effective. And we don’t want an FDA led by a commissioner who puts industry profits above women’s health.” We need an FDA commissioner who will maintain the FDA’s high evidentiary standards for medical device and drug safety and efficacy. 

The next FDA commissioner needs to be committed to the strongest standards of science with a proven track record of standing up for women’s health” said Cindy Pearson, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network. 

Should the Trump Administration continue to appoint people who prioritize profits and politics over science, the NWHN will be there to shine a spotlight on what this agenda means for women. 

The National Women’s Health Network is supported by our members and by choice we do not accept financial support from drug companies or medical device manufacturers. We bring the voices, concerns and needs of women consumers to policy and regulatory tables. 

Cindy Pearson was the NWHN’s Executive Director from 1996 to 2021. One of the nation's leading advocates for women's health, Cindy often testified before Congress,  NIH and the FDA and was frequently featured in the news as a consumer expert on women’s health issues. When she retired, Cindy received a Congressional Resolution in honor of her outstanding contributions to the health of women and girls.

Read more from Cindy Pearson.