News & Politics

Bernie Sanders Blocks Obama’s FDA Nominee for Big Pharma Ties

Sanders claims Califf wouldn't make the FDA work for millions of Americans.

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Today, Bernie Sanders declared his opposition to President Obama's Food and Drug Administration nominee, Michael Califf, and announced he is formally blocking the pick.

Sanders announced the hold on Califf’s appointment to head the FDA, identifying his close ties to Big Pharma. 

“Dr. Califf’s extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies,” Sanders said in an official statement.

A New York Times story from this past fall identified many of Califf's connections to pharmaecutical industry. The piece explains that, "he has written scientific papers with pharmaceutical company researchers, and his financial disclosure form last year listed seven drug companies and a device maker that paid him for consulting and six others that partly supported his university salary, including Merck, Novartis and Eli Lilly."

Watch Sanders' remarks on the matter, from this past fall, below.

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Michael Arria covers labor and social movements. Follow him on Twitter: @michaelarria