Trump’s FDA pick could be inspired

Trump’s willingness to surprise continues with the people he is considering to head America’s medical watchdog, the FDA.

Yesterday Trump met with two contenders. One was Balaji Srinivasan, a brilliant and thoughtful man with deep ties to Silicon Valley and Peter Thiel, a key Trump backer.

Balaji S. Srinivasan

Thiel’s justified frustration with the FDA is longstanding. When I interviewed him six years ago, he told me that if the tech industry was regulated that way, it wouldn’t exist.

As he said to me, “Imagine if Twitter had to go through the FDA drug approval — how efficacious, how does it affect the brain, phase II, phase III trials.”

Srinivasan is of a similar mind, publishing a tweetstorm in March last year criticising the FDA’s chilling effect on innovation.

One example:

“New tech allows far better regulation than the FDA.”

Which means the fact Srinivasan is even being considered for the role is revolutionary. Priorities at the FDA are set to change, bigly. That’s fantastic. Because freeing things up will save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Srinivasan is an experienced, successful biotech entrepreneur and venture capitalist. But more than that, he is incredibly thoughtful and original in general. His tweetstorm on “the cloud versus the land”
is one of my favourite reads of the year so far.

Trump’s first 100 days just got even more interesting.