Attendees at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the industry's largest annual event, unexpectedly got a taste of the government shutdown Tuesday.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's keynote address was delivered via video conference from a meeting room in Washington, D.C., to thousands of investment bankers and health-care executives, and his audio cut out altogether just as he was making a key point on teen nicotine use. The four-day meeting, now in its 37th year, drew more than 9,000 to the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco this year.
"If we see another rise of 30 or 40 percent in youth tobacco use, I think this is an existential threat to the whole product segment. And I think a tolerance to these products will not only ... " Gottlieb said just before his audio failed for about 30 seconds. It sent chuckles through the packed overflow room as Gottlieb continued speaking, unaware that no one could hear him.