Robert Califf to return as US FDA commissioner

Robert Califf

Cardiologist and researcher Robert Califf has been confirmed as the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Califf returns to the role that he held between September 2016 and January 2017, having been confirmed in a vote by the US Senate this week.

The reappointment has been welcomed by the American Heart Association (AHA) which issued a statement congratulating Califf shortly after the vote.

In the statement, AHA chief executive officer Nancy Brown, said: “Throughout his career, Dr Califf has been a relentless force in the fight against heart disease and stroke. As FDA commissioner, Dr Califf will put this experience to work leading the agency’s critical efforts to protect and improve the public’s health. The American Heart Association congratulates Dr Califf on his confirmation and thanks the Senate for its bipartisan support of an outstanding leader.

“With a distinguished career in public service and a long-time volunteer leader at the American Heart Association, Dr Califf has honed his ability to communicate and build trust with diverse constituencies. He will use his experience as a cardiologist to safeguard the health and well-being of people throughout the country, and his background in research to prioritise science and evidence-based policymaking. His previous leadership of the FDA will enable him to hit the ground running and ensure the agency can meet the current public health threats.

“The FDA faces a formidable set of challenges that require urgent action and we look forward to working with Dr Califf, to ensure the FDA prioritises the health and well-being of the nation.”

Califf’s initial tenure was not without controversy, with his ties to the pharmaceutical industry questioned by US senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.


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