(Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren urged former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to immediately step down from Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) board, three months after his departure from the health regulator.
In a letter to Gottlieb, Warren, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, said “this kind of revolving door influence-peddling smacks of corruption.”
Gottlieb, who won bipartisan support for his efforts to curb use of flavored e-cigarettes by youths, stepped down from the FDA in April, a role he had held since May 2017.
He was named to Pfizer’s board last Thursday and was added to the board’s regulatory and compliance as well as the science and technology committees.
Warren added that such moves could make Americans cynical and distrustful about whether high-level officials from President Donald Trump’s administration are working for the people or for future corporate employers.
Gottlieb said in a tweet on Tuesday that he had a productive relationship with Warren while he was at the FDA and would respond to her letter privately.
When asked to comment on Senator Warren’s letter, Pfizer pointed Reuters to the company’s announcement on Thursday.
Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber