Sanders Puts Block on Obama's Big Pharma Nominee for FDA
'We need someone who will work to substantially lower drug prices, implement rules to safely import brand-name drugs from Canada and hold companies accountable who defraud our government.'
Sanders Puts Block on Obama's Big Pharma Nominee for FDA
By Nadia Prupis / commondreams.org
Jan 27, 2016

Senator Bernie Sanders put a hold on President Barack Obama's nominee to take over the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday, joining with two other senators who have also objected to Dr. Robert M. Califf's nomination, citing his ties to corporate drug manufacturers.

"Dr. Califf’s extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies," Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday. "We need someone who will work to substantially lower drug prices, implement rules to safely import brand-name drugs from Canada and hold companies accountable who defraud our government."

As a researcher at Duke University, Califf took millions in funding and "consultation fees" from pharmaceutical giants like Eli Lilly, Merck, and Novartis. The New York Times oncedescribed him as the "ultimate industry insider."

Sanders joins Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in halting Califf's nomination. Markey, who intervened late last week, said he would continue the blockade until the FDA changes its approval process for opioid painkillers, citing the agency's decision to use OxyContin to treat children as young as 11.

Recent measures to combat rising heroin use in U.S. suburbs and rural areas havehighlighted the link between prescription medication and drug addiction.

On Tuesday, Sanders also cautioned that the trend of over-prescribing drugs has come in tandem with the price gouging of life-saving medications for millions.

"I share Sen. Markey’s concerns that the FDA must change the way it approaches addiction. Too many Americans are dying from what has become an opioid epidemic," Sanders said.

Califf became deputy commissioner at the FDA in 2015. In October, Sanders said he wouldvote against his nomination, stating, "At a time when millions of Americans cannot afford to purchase the prescription drugs they need, we need a new leader at the FDA who is prepared to stand up to the pharmaceutical companies and work to substantially lower drug prices. Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that Dr. Califf is not that person."

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
Every Town Needs a Remakery
Jeremy Williams36,559 views today ·
MP Says Government is Intentionally Making People Destitute to Prevent Organised Opposition
2 min34,343 views today ·
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means23,682 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min8,072 views today ·
Carnage (2017)
65 min6,904 views today ·
Visit Hawai'i - The Occupied State
2 min5,861 views today ·
Have We Been Denying Our Human Nature for Four Hundred Years?
Lynn Parramore5,363 views today ·
Muslims This, ISIS That
3 min4,596 views today ·
Stressed out? This Weird, Relaxing And Life-Affirming Video May Be Just What You Need
3 min4,501 views today ·
Load More
New
'Disaster': Trump Administration Signs off on Keystone XL Pipeline
Nika Knight
Escape From Syria - Faiza's Story
5 min
A Letter to Extremists
Nafeez Ahmed
Muslims This, ISIS That
3 min
Visit Hawai'i - The Occupied State
2 min
Musician Macka B. Schools Us on Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
4 min
Carnage (2017)
65 min
Why Recognizing Our Own Privilege Can Be so Hard
Chris Agnos
Love is Not Something That You Do - It is Something That You Can Become
1 min
Load More
What's Next
Bill Moyers Journal:  Chemicals In Our Food (2008)
24 min
Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs (2006)
68 min
Bernie Sanders: A Moment of Truth for Democrats
Jeff Faux
Like us on Facebook?
Sanders Puts Block on Obama's Big Pharma Nominee for FDA