Senate Committee Considers FDA Commissioner Nomination

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing this month on President Obama’s nominee for commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Robert Califf, M.D. Dr. Califf, a cardiologist and clinical trial expert from Duke University, was nominated in October to lead the agency. Califf brings with him decades of knowledge in clinical research and experience working with patients, industry, and government to successfully bring new medical products to market. Members of the HELP committee were largely supportive of Dr. Califf’s nomination, but raised questions about the FDA’s reliance on non-binding guidance to communicate with industry as well as the impact costly clinical trials have on patient access to new therapies. The Senate is expected to vote on Dr. Califf’s nomination in December. The hearing webcast and Dr. Califf’s testimony can be found here.