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Biden Floats Recycled FDA Commissioner Pick Who Is Too Closely Aligned with Big Pharma

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden reportedly is vetting former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf to be the next FDA commissioner. Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, released the following statement:

“The country desperately needs an FDA leader who will reverse the decades-long trend in which the agency’s relationship with the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries has grown dangerously cozier – resulting in regulatory capture of the agency by industry. Califf would not be that leader.

“Califf has a long history of extensive financial ties to Big Pharma, most significantly through pharmaceutical industry funding to the Duke Clinical Research Institute, which he founded in 1996.

“He also received personal payments from numerous companies including Amgen, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Sanofi-Aventis – both before and after his last stint as FDA commissioner. And he currently sits on the board of directors of the biopharmaceutical company Cytokinetics.

“Biden must nominate an individual who has been dedicated to advancing public health – one who unquestionably will place the public interest ahead of the interests of FDA-regulated industries.”