Senate Confirms Robert Califf as FDA Commissioner

Feb. 15, 2022
Second time around for 70-year-old cardiologist, who headed the agency in 2016.

In a close vote, and despite concerns over his ties to the pharmaceutical industry, the Senate today (Feb. 15) voted to confirm Dr. Robert Califf as commissioner of the FDA. It will be his second time leading the agency.

Six Republicans joined 44 Democrats, resulting in a 50-46 vote. His nomination by President Joe Biden was opposed by five Democrats including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who said Califf's work with pharmaceutical companies made him partial, and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who criticized how the agency handled the opioid crisis under Califf's earlier leadership, according to Reuters news service.

By contrast, 89 senators voted to confirm him in 2016. Califf was FDA commissioner from February 2016 until the end of President Barack Obama's second term in January 2017. The agency has been helmed by acting commissioner and longtime FDA veteran Janet Woodcock for more than a year.

Califf, 70, is a well-regarded cardiologist and researcher. Reuters reports Califf has been on the board of drugmaker Cytokinetics Inc since February 2018 and has received more than $93,000 in consulting and other fees between 2014 and 2019 from nine drugmakers.

Sponsored Recommendations

Troubleshoot: Grittiness in gluten free cookies

Learn how to adjust gluten free cookie recipes for a softer texture.

Clabber Girl: Rising Success

Uncover how Clabber Girl Corporation achieved a remarkable 7% growth and improved manufacturing efficiency by seamlessly integrating Vicinity's batch manufacturing solution with...

Intelligent Blends: Taking Technology to the Next Level

Find out how our friends at Intelligent Blends use VicinityFood and Microsoft Dynamics GP to produce the best coffee around.

Key ingredient: Mother Murphy's Laboratories

Flavorings manufacturer Mother Murphy’s Laboratories integrates front office with production facility — improving operations from initial order to final invoice.