Don’t Allow Big Pharma Insider to Become Chief of FDA

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Target: Senator Patty Murray, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Goal: Vote against President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Robert Califf, a well-known Big Pharma insider, as chief of the FDA.

President Obama recently nominated a Big Pharma insider, Dr. Robert M. Califf, for the position of chief of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although Dr. Califf has a history as an accredited doctor and researcher, he also has very deep ties to the greedy pharmaceutical industry. More than 60 percent of the funding for Dr. Califf’s multimillion-dollar research center at Duke University came from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. In a time when prescription drug prices are skyrocketing, we need a chief that will stand up to the pharmaceutical industry, not pander to it. Act now to demand that Califf does not become the chief of the FDA.

Large corporations gain control of powerful regulatory agencies such as the FDA by funneling their preferred allies into positions such as these. Califf has authored scientific papers with industry researchers and received compensation from six different drug and device companies as a large part of his university salary. Dr Califf’s friendliness with Big Pharma would mean bad calls on policy that could threaten many Americans’ health and financial stability.

Concerned opponents of the nomination, including Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, do not believe Dr. Califf will act in the interest of the American people. Sources indicate that President Obama nominated Dr. Califf in order to “avoid a fight” with Republicans in the Senate. Other Senate Democrats must act to oppose this nomination before it’s too late. The nomination is currently waiting on confirmation by the Senate. Sign the petition letter below to encourage Senate Democrats not to let Dr. Califf become the chief of the FDA.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Murray,

President Obama’s resent nomination of Dr. Robert Califf for chief of the FDA is a bad move for America. Dr. Califf’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry are numerous and well known. It is difficult to believe these affiliations will not influence his policy choices.

Recently, prices of pharmaceuticals have been on the rise and it’s becoming difficult for many Americans to receive the care they need. Furthermore, the FDA has been involved in numerous scandals involving drug testing, approval, and safety. Some estimates say almost 90 percent of new drugs on the market in the past 20 years solely make money for drug companies, rather than actually providing new health benefits. Allowing Dr. Califf to become chief of the FDA will only exacerbate these problems. We need an FDA that will work for the health of the American people, not for the pocketbooks of drug companies.

If Dr. Califf is confirmed as chief, we will likely see policy changes that advance the interests of the industry, not the American people. I urge you to oppose President Obama’s nomination and to encourage fellow Senate Democrats to do the same.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tom Varco

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