As a heart specialist, Dr. Califf spent a long time main medical trials on the Duke College Medical Heart in North Carolina. Most just lately, he led medical coverage and technique for Verily, the life sciences arm at Alphabet, the dad or mum firm of Google. Throughout 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 units.
Republicans requested how he would deal with guidelines round drugs to induce abortion, which had been relaxed throughout 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 house.
Senator Tommy Tuberville, a Republican committee member from Alabama, mentioned in an announcement that the latest choice knowledgeable his committee vote. “I imagine Dr. Califf will proceed to advance this administration’s pro-abortion agenda, and I can’t assist his nomination,” he mentioned.
Senator Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, additionally mentioned he opposed the nomination over abortion insurance policies and opioid considerations. “Beneath his management in 2016, the F.D.A. expanded entry to the damaging chemical abortion drug mifepristone and didn’t take motion to stem the tide of the opioid disaster ravaging our nation,” he mentioned 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 choices on tobacco management as he tries to steadiness e-cigarettes as a instrument to assist some stop smoking with out creating a brand new era of customers. Scrutiny round accelerated approvals of medication will probably 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 embrace consulting charges and inventory possession amounting to as a lot as $8 million, the nominee advised the Senate panel in mid-December that he would adjust to ethics guidelines set by the F.D.A. and its dad or mum company, the Division of Well being and Human Companies.
Senator Hassan of New Hampshire additionally voted towards 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 mentioned the company would proceed to evaluate the proof coming in.