Robert Cliff moves his nomination forward in a bipartisan vote

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Former Food and Drug Commissioner Robert Cliff One step closer to returning to his old office after the Senate Health, Education, Work and Pensions Committee Submit his candidacy In a vote of 13 to 8 bipartisan.

A cardiologist, Califf previously served as a commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration in President Barack Obama’s administration. He held the position from February 2016 to January 2017. Incumbent President Joe Biden, who served as Vice President under Obama, appointed Califf to the role in the fall of 2021 as Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock began to run out.

“Dr. Robert Califf is one of the most experienced clinical trial professionals in the country with the experience and expertise to lead the FDA through a critical period in our nation’s struggle to end the coronavirus pandemic. I am confident that Dr. Califf will ensure that the FDA continues to make its decisions. science and data based. statment When nominated Cliff.

The men and women at the FDA “working hard to ensure we have safe, effective vaccines, tests, treatments, and more, deserve a strong leader who will make sure that science always comes first,” said Senator Patty Murray, D.C. and chair of the Assistance Committee. mentioned.

With a nod from the committee, Califf’s nomination now moves to the full Senate. The last time he appeared in front of the chamber’s full body, Calif was confirmed for his role in an 89-4 vote.

While Cliff has, so far, enjoyed bipartisan support, he also has some bipartisan opposition to returning to the regulatory agency’s head. Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, has expressed concern about the Food and Drug Administration’s failures to effectively regulate opioid medications. In a public letter, Markey said he met with Calive in December to discuss his concerns about opioid regulation and sought commitments to strengthen regulations surrounding drug approval to include mandatory prescription education and an independent advisory committee on opioid approvals.

“During our meeting, Dr. Califf did not commit to the decisive and comprehensive action needed to ensure that the FDA, under his leadership, would implement reforms on opioid regulation. After years of agency failure and in the midst of a worsening opioid epidemic, we need FDA leadership.” fully committed to using the agency’s full oversight power to protect public health,” Markey wrote in his letter message.

Senator Bernie Sanders, of the independent state of Vermont, also opposed Califf’s nomination. Sanders has been an outspoken critic of rising drug prices. in a statment Sanders has voiced his opposition to Califfe, and said the FDA needs leadership “finally ready to stand up to the greed and power of the drug industry.” Sanders said the Food and Drug Administration has gotten too close to the industry and expressed concern about Cliff’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

“Shockingly, nine of the last ten FDA commissioners have gone on to work in the pharmaceutical industry or to serve on the board of directors of a prescription drug company,” Sanders said. Unfortunately, Dr. Califf is no exception to this rule. After leaving the Food and Drug Administration in 2017, he received advisory fees from Merck, Biogen, and Eli Lilly. According to his financial disclosure form, he holds up to $8 million in corporate stock. Big Pharma. This is exactly the close relationship that big pharma has exploited to regulate the Food and Drug Administration, rather than the Food and Drug Administration that regulates it.”


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