Trump Names Lawyer Lobbyist Without Any Medical/Science Background At All to Head FDA During Transition | Pharma Industry Regulation |

Longtime pharmaceutical lobbyist Jack Kalavritinos, who also worked in various capacities for the George W. Bush administration, will take a major role on the “beachhead” team that the incoming Trump administration is sending to run the Food and Drug Administration following Friday’s inauguration, transition team sources say.


Kalavritinos spent seven years as director of global lobbying for the Irish pharmaceutical and medical device company Covidien, which sells a wide array of hospital supplies around the world. The US company Medtronic bought Covidien in 2014 and promptly moved its headquarters to Ireland, which has a lower corporate tax rate.


Such “inversions” — deals structured to let American companies take advantage of lower tax rates overseas — began to draw heavy public ire around the time of the Medtronic-Covidien deal. The Obama administration has sought to crack down on such transactions with new rules from the Treasury Department.


President-elect Donald Trump seemed to be referring to such deals, as well as the outsourcing of manufacturing, when he recently accused the pharmaceutical industry of “getting away with murder.”


“Our drug industry has been disastrous,” Trump said at his first post-election news conference. “They’re leaving left and right.”


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