A number of news outlets have reported Ralph Tyler’s switch as Maryland insurance commissioner head of the Maryland Insurance Administration to his new position as top dog in the FDA’s legal department (Law.com, Maryland Lawyer Blog, and FDA Law Blog).
While in his post as the insurance commish for Maryland (since September 2007) he fought over the compensation package for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s former CEO, William Jew. Tyler cut the compensation down from $18 million to about $9 million (that decision was overturned by the Baltimore County Circuit Court in November—the agency has filed a notice of appeal). He also managed to return about $100 million ($13.8 million to the doctor-policyholders, and $84.1 million to the state of Maryland to make up for subsidies that slowed years of malpractice insurance rates) from Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland. To much fanfare in Maryland, he helped to crush a proposed 72% rate increase by Baltimore Gas & Electric.
But, he left all of that behind last week and is expected to formally start at the FDA on January 19, replacing interim General Counsel Mike Landa. No word yet on what Tyler’s plans for the FDA are—at this point, he states that he is planning to assess the agency’s needs, and go from there. He’s a smart guy, and he has a good track record—I’m sure the FDA and consumers of drugs and medical devices will be well-served.