Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Dr. Robert Califf Approved By Senate Panel As FDA Commissioner



Should Califf be appointed FDA Commissioner, he would take on a number of unfinished projects including food safety reform and labelling guidelines.

Share this!

January 15, 2016 | by Sarah Massey, M.Sc.

Back in September of 2015, President Barack Obama named Dr. Robert Califf – a respected cardiologist and researcher – as his nomination for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner. Califf won approval from a Senate panel on Tuesday, despite the action of two senators that opposed the motion.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski has vowed to stall the Senate’s vote until the agency agrees to write strict guidelines for labelling genetically modified (GM) salmon. Murkowski – a representative of Alaska – has concerns that the GM salmon could negatively impact the state’s wild salmon fishing industry.

According to Murkowski, she is irritated that she received no advanced warning of the FDA’s decision to approve the GM salmon – a decision she strongly opposed. Califf’s confirmation hearing in November was followed by the approval of the genetically modified fish just two days later.

“If they are trying to get my support, they sure fumbled that ball,” Murkowski remarked after Califf’s nomination was approved by the Senate panel. Califf is currently second-in-command at the FDA, having formerly worked at Duke University for over 30 years.

Along with Murkowski, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders also opposed the nomination, though he did not attend the committee meeting. According to Sanders, the US needs an FDA commissioner who is capable of taking on the pharmaceutical industry. He believes that Califf is “not that person.”

A few other Democrats have voiced their concerns over Califf’s previous experience with the industry. Califf founded his own contract research group – the Duke University Clinical Research Institute – in 2006, which has since conducted clinical trials for many large pharmaceutical companies.

In 2014, Califf reportedly received over $29,000 in payments from drugmakers. To avoid potential conflicts of interest in his potential role as FDA Commissioner, Califf has already distanced himself from working with specific companies.

“I think if you look at my record you'll find I've never been a proponent of lowering standards,” said Califf during his nomination hearing. He has reportedly declined to perform clinical trials for companies that failed to meet specific data access criteria.

Should Califf be appointed FDA Commissioner, he would take on a number of unfinished projects including food safety reform and labelling guidelines. Dr. Stephen Ostroff is currently the acting head of the agency, following Margaret Hamburg’s decision to step down as Commissioner last year.




The Three Sins of GMP Executives

Cancer Immunotherapy: Advancing and Accelerating Discovery Programs

Keywords: FDA, Contract Research Organization, Clinical Trial


Share this with your colleagues!

Arthritis Drug Could Prove Useful In Treating BRCA1-Positive Ovarian Cancer

January 13, 2016 - According to a study led by researchers at the University of Plymouth in the UK, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis – called auranofin – could improve patient outcomes for women with ovarian cancer with a BRCA1 mutation.

Shire Finalizes Deal To Acquire Baxalta For $32 Billion

January 12, 2016 - After six months of negotiations, Shire has finally announced they’ve reached an agreement to acquire Baxalta for $32 billion.

Johnson & Johnson Announces New Collaborations And Seeks Hepatitis B Cure

January 12, 2016 - In anticipation of the 33rd annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Johnson & Johnson will be announcing 21 new collaborations covering experimental disease treatments, medical devices and consumer health products.

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.