Call The Senate: Stop The Big Pharma Insider Poised To Become FDA Chief

Excerpt from: CREDO Action

President Obama is moving ahead with his nomination of Robert Califf as FDA chief, a doctor described as “the ultimate industry insider.” Make a call to demand the Senate Health Committee to oppose Califf’s nomination.

Sick of Americans paying the highest prices for prescription drugs of anywhere in the world?1 You’re not alone: More than 135,000 CREDO members like you have told the Senate to oppose the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf, the “ultimate industry insider,” as head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).2,3

Sen. Bernie Sanders recently made waves by announcing he would oppose Califf, President Obama’s pick to head the FDA.4 Now, we need to build momentum by getting other senators to oppose the nomination, starting with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which will be the first to consider Califf for the post.

According to the New York Times, Dr. Califf “has deeper ties to the pharmaceutical industry than any F.D.A. commissioner in recent memory.” He has an extensive record of close collaboration with pharmaceutical giants, and recently described regulation as a “barrier,” not a safeguard for public health.5

No matter how good a doctor he is or how fair he attempts to be, Califf is simply too connected to industry. If he becomes the next head of the FDA, his former sponsors and friends in the pharmaceutical industry will have a friendly ear in a major position of power, threatening our financial well-being and physical health.

It’s no wonder that Sen. Sanders declared that Califf simply wasn’t someone who is “prepared to stand up to the pharmaceutical companies and work to substantially lower drug prices.”6 But to stop this nomination, we will need to ramp up pressure on other senators in both parties.

Big Pharma deploys armies of lobbyists to increase profits, even at the expense of our safety. The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes years of excessive patent protection for the pharmaceutical industry. Congress has passed multiple bills to speed up FDA approvals, including allowing drug companies to conduct their own tests – even though some estimate that 85-90% of the new drugs on the market since the 1990’s don’t deliver better clinical performance, but simply make money for their creators. And meanwhile, the industry has been wracked with scandals over drug safety and hidden risks.7

We can’t let Big Pharma get away with installing an industry insider as head of the Federal Drug Administration. The Senate must block this nomination.

Can you make a quick phone call now to increase the pressure?

Take action now

  • Call the Senate Health Committee: Stop the Big Pharma insider poised to become FDA chief. This is the sample script and the number to call:


Hi, my name is , calling from . I’m calling to oppose Dr. Robert Califf’s nomination to head the Food and Drug Administration.

CALL NUMBER    202-759-0554

At a time of rising prescription drug prices and safety risks we need a champion for American families, not someone described in the press as the “ultimate industry insider.”

  • Please stand with American families, not Big Pharma, and oppose Dr. Califf’s nomination.

Thank you for speaking out,

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

“Sanders, Cummings Introduce Comprehensive Legislation to Lower Soaring Drug Prices.”
Sabrina Tavernise, “F.D.A. Nominee Califf’s Ties to Drug Makers Worry Some,” The New York Times, September 19, 2015.
“Tell the Senate: No Big Pharma ally as FDA chief,” CREDO Action
John Wagner, “Bernie Sanders to oppose Obama’s nominee to lead the FDA,” The Washington Post, October 8, 2015.
Tavernise, “F.D.A. Nominee Califf’s Ties to Drug Makers Worry Some.”
Wagner, “Bernie Sanders to oppose Obama’s nominee to lead the FDA.”
Caroline Beaton, “Holding Big Pharma Accountable: Why Suing the Pharmaceutical Industry Isn’t Working,”, October 13, 2015
© 2015 CREDO. All rights reserved.


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