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Free Minds & Free Markets

Scott Gottlieb Is Not a Free Market Firebrand: New at Reason

The FDA chief's mixed, moderate record has surprised both his champions and his critics.

Scott GottliebZach Gibson/GettyIt's mid-December, and Scott Gottlieb is at the Harvard Club. The Manhattan Institute has invited a few dozen people for an intimate discussion about what's happening at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As they eat finger foods and sip cocktails, a relaxed Gottlieb meanders around the room sans entourage and snags the occasional pretzel stick from a platter. As a former think tanker himself—he was an American Enterprise Institute resident fellow for roughly a decade—these are his people.

Everyone takes their seats. Gottlieb's old friend Peter Huber, an attorney and senior fellow at the host institute, is sitting right up front. Just a few years earlier, the two had partnered to argue the affirmative in a debate over whether "the FDA's caution is hazardous to our health." But now that Gottlieb is the head honcho at the agency, some libertarians who once considered him a fellow traveler are finding him a tough nut to crack, writes Mike Riggs in his latest print feature for Reason.

Photo Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty

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