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Trump eyes friend of NJOY investor to replace Califf as head of the FDA

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As the President-Elect prepares to enter the White House on January 20, Trump is eyeing a relatively unknown businessman and friend of NJOY investor Peter Theil for a key role in as the new head of the FDA. Robert Califf is out, and Jim O’Neill is a leading contender for his replacement.

O’Neill is currently acting as the Managing Director of Mithril Capital Management, a company owned by vape-friendly Thiel. On several occasions, the mild-mannered O’Neill has publicly denounced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a prescription drug approval process that he considers too complex and “laborious.” According to O’Neill, American lives are being lost because the FDA consistently drags its feet in approving new lifesaving drugs and releasing them to the market place.

O’Neill considers himself to be a Libertarian rather than a Republican like the President-Elect, but his differing political leanings do not appear to be an obstacle for his appointment to the Trump Administration. He is also on the record as a pro-vaping advocate and a staunch supporter of the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana.

PayPal founder and NJOY investor Peter Theil

As a friend and ally of PayPal founder and billionaire Peter Theil, O’Neill is also knowledgeable about the history-making lawsuit filed by NJOY in 2009. Sottera Inc. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration was considered a huge win for the American vaping industry, a victory that is threatened to be essentially eradicated by the new FDA deeming regulations announced last May.

Peter Theil along with singer/songwriter Bruna Mars and Sean Parker of Napster fame are major investors in the NJOY corporation. The company has since filed for bankruptcy while simultaneously blaming the crippling FDA deeming regulations as a primary contributing factor. Because of his strong ties to Theil, many political pundits assume that O’Neill will strive to repeal the deeming regulations once he officially takes over for Robert Califf at the FDA.

Califf is one of the most reviled politicians by the U.S. vaping industry, viewed by many as the one primarily responsible for authoring and implementing the controversial FDA deeming regulations that threaten to wipe out the entire vaping industry by 2018. Califf believes that delaying the approval process for prescription drugs prevents patient fatalities from drugs that are not completely safe. Conversely, O’Neill believes that the FDA’s time-consuming approval process is actually far more deadly to the American People and needs to be streamlined. 

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