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News and Press: Policy News

Dr. Robert Califf Wins Senate Confirmation to Run F.D.A.

Friday, February 26, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Oesterle
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WASHINGTON — President Obama’s pick to run the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Robert M. Califf, was finally confirmed for the job by the Senate on Wednesday, in a vote of 89 to 4, after weeks of opposition from a handful of lawmakers who had blocked his nomination over what they said was the agency’s poor record on prescription painkillers.

An epidemic of abuse of painkillers has swept the United States, with deaths from overdose of prescription opioids quadrupling since the late 1990s. Some senators used the opportunity presented by Dr. Califf’s nomination to question the F.D.A., the agency in charge of approving the drugs. In speeches on the Senate floor over several days this week, they appealed to their colleagues to vote against Dr. Califf, arguing the agency he had been tapped to run had approved too many of the opioid drugs and had ignored the advice of its own expert panels, which have occasionally recommended against approval.

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