FDA nominee thinks being a Pharma consultant is a “very good thing”
Imagine a doctor who “served as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for Genentech” and reports 23 financial links to drug companies including stock ownership being FDA commissioner? A doctor who defends Merck’s Vioxx behavior which cost thousands of lives and said “many of us consult with the pharmaceutical industry, which I think is a very good thing. They need ideas and then the decision about what they do is really up to the person who is funding the study,” on PBS.
The Obama administration has nominated Duke University researcher Robert Califf to be FDA commissioner ending all pretenses of a firewall between the drug industry and the government agency that is supposed to regulate it. In 2009 when Califf’s name was floated for FDA commissioner along with three others, Reuters reported that medical experts asked how someone who helps drug companies market their products could possibly be considered as the nation’s chief watchdog over unsafe medications. We now have our answer.