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Senate Panel OKs Califf Nomination for F.D.A. Chief

As a heart specialist, Dr. Califf spent a long time main scientific trials on the Duke College Medical Heart in North Carolina. Most not too long ago, he led scientific coverage and technique for Verily, the life sciences arm at Alphabet, the mother or father firm of Google. In the course of the listening to, he emphasised the worth of current knowledge, a lot in sufferers’ digital medical information, to assist reply troublesome questions concerning the proof for medication and gadgets.

Republicans requested how he would deal with guidelines round drugs to induce abortion, which had been relaxed in the course of the pandemic after years of tight restrictions. Two days after the listening to, the F.D.A. — underneath Dr. Janet Woodcock, the interim commissioner — introduced that it will completely carry restrictions, permitting sufferers to terminate a being pregnant within the first 10 weeks after a telemedicine go to with drugs taken at residence.

Senator Tommy Tuberville, a Republican committee member from Alabama, stated in an announcement that the current determination knowledgeable his committee vote. “I imagine Dr. Califf will proceed to advance this administration’s pro-abortion agenda, and I can’t help his nomination,” he stated.

Senator Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, additionally stated he opposed the nomination over abortion insurance policies and opioid issues. “Underneath his management in 2016, the F.D.A. expanded entry to the harmful chemical abortion drug mifepristone and didn’t take motion to stem the tide of the opioid disaster ravaging our nation,” he stated in an announcement.

Dr. Califf was beforehand confirmed in a 89-to-4 Senate vote to guide the F.D.A. over the last 12 months of the Obama administration. If confirmed once more, he’ll face key selections on tobacco management as he tries to steadiness e-cigarettes as a software to assist some stop smoking with out creating a brand new technology of customers. Scrutiny round accelerated approvals of medication shall be heightened, given the present debate over the company’s approval of the controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm.

After Senator Sanders denounced Dr. Califf’s ties to pharmaceutical companies, which embody consulting charges and inventory possession amounting to as a lot as $8 million, the nominee instructed the Senate panel in mid-December that he would adjust to ethics guidelines set by the F.D.A. and its mother or father company, the Division of Well being and Human Providers.

Senator Hassan of New Hampshire additionally voted in opposition to Dr. Califf’s nomination. She had pressed him in December on the F.D.A.’s failure to replace the labeling of opioid drugs. Dr. Califf stated the company would proceed to evaluation the proof coming in.

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