FDA names economist Randall Lutter acting policy chief

By David Hubler
12:00 AM

The Food and Drug Administration has named Randall Lutter acting deputy commissioner for policy. He will replace Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who recently announced his resignation, effective in January 2007.

Lutter will be lead adviser on FDA policy and offer input on all agency matters, according to an FDA announcement.

Lutter joined the FDA in 2003 as chief economist in the Office of Planning and most recently was associate commissioner of policy and planning, coordinating the FDA's regulatory and administrative policies. He was a primary advocate for the policies and programs of the agency and the Department of Health and Human Services, especially those involving health risks associated with the importation of drugs and the challenges of controlling counterfeit drugs, FDA said.

"Randy has played a key role in the development and implementation of many of the agency's highest priority initiatives," said Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, in a statement. "The leadership he has shown in his current position as associate commissioner for policy and planning will ensure not only a smooth transition but also continued success in carrying out this agency's mission."

Before joining the FDA, Lutter was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a fellow at the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. He worked in the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 1991 to 1997, and he was the senior economist for regulation and the environment in the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1998.

Lutter is a graduate of Cornell University, where he earned a doctorate and a master's degree in economics.