During his campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly welcomed the idea of banning lobbyists from his administration.
Fast forward eight months, and now-President Trump is welcoming them in.
At the Food and Drug Administration, longtime pharmaceutical lobbyist Jack Kalavritinos has a senior role in the agency’s early Trump team (read “Trump Names Lawyer Lobbyist Without Any Medical/Science Background At All to Head FDA During Transition”; http://sco.lt/4rs6Ft).
Kalavritinos spent more than seven years as the chief lobbyist of the medical device and pharmaceutical firm Covidien. (Covidien was subsequently acquired by Medtronic.) In that role, Kalavritinos lobbied the FDA and Congress on a host of issues related to medical device regulation, disclosure records show. Among the legislation he lobbied on was the Novel Device Regulatory Relief Act and the Food and Drug Administration Mission Reform Act.
Trump himself recently criticized the extensive influence of the pharmaceutical lobby. “Pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there’s very little bidding on drugs,” he said at a press conference last month.