Senate votes to confirm Gottlieb as head of FDA

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Scott Gottlieb testifies before a Senate Health Education Labor and Pension Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

(Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a conservative health policy expert and venture capitalist, as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

Gottlieb, a physician and former deputy FDA commissioner during the George W. Bush administration, is seen as competent and knowledgeable. But critics worry about his ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Gottlieb has agreed to divest his holdings in about two-dozen healthcare stocks.

Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler