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Martha Rosenberg -The FDA Now Officially Belongs to Big Pharma

It is hard to believe only four senators [3] opposed the confirmation of Robert Califf, who was approved today as the next FDA commissioner. Vocal opponent Bernie Sanders [4] condemned the vote from the campaign trail. But where was Dick Durbin? Where were all the lawmakers who say they care about industry and Wall Street profiteers making money at the expense of public health?

Califf, chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University until recently, received money from 23 drug [5] companies including the giants like Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, Schering Plough and GSK according to a disclosure statement on the website of Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Not merely receiving research funds, Califf also served as a high level Pharma officer, say press reports. Medscape, the medical website, discloses [6] that Califf “served as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for Genentech.” Portola Pharmaceuticals says Califf served on its board of directors until leaving for the FDA.

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