Obama names Robert Califf as new FDA Commissioner

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As expected, President Barack Obama has nominated Robert Califf to serve as commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Califf, a prominent cardiologist who has served in various capacities at Duke University since 1982, joined the FDA in March as deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco. If confirmed by the US Senate, he will replace Stephen Ostroff, who has served as acting commissioner since Margaret Hamburg stepped down earlier this year.

Chief executive of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Jim Greenwood, commended President Obama for his nomination of Dr Califf “and we urge the Senate to consider his confirmation as soon as possible”.

He added that the new boss is “a respected cardiologist and clinical trial expert with a firm understanding of the challenges and opportunities of 21st century medicine. The FDA deserves a strong, confirmed Commissioner to effectively fulfill its expanding obligations and maintain appropriate standards for the safety and effectiveness of advanced therapies”.