Writer Martha Rosenberg fairly asks whether the appointment of Robert Califf as FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco is a joke. Califf has garnered so much financial support from Big Pharma that he could be considered an employee of Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, and other Big Pharma giants.
The website of Duke Clinical Research Institute features a disclosure statement that reads: “Robert M. Califf, MD., reports receiving research grant support from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson/Scios, Lilly, Merck, and Schering.
FDA Integrity Undermined
The integrity of the agency is already badly compromised by industry insiders who move back and forth through the revolving door from Big Pharma employment to executive positions in the FDA, insiders like revolving door poster boy Michael Taylor; but the appointment of Califf represents a new low for the FDA. Every day, this agency is less of a watchdog overseeing the safety of our nation’s food and drugs, and more of an agribusiness and drug industry lapdog. The FDA’s conflicts of interest with industry are staggering to behold and nothing less than scandalous.
See Martha Rosenberg’s story on Califf’s conflicts of interest here.