Washington (February 15, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after voting against the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf for Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Senator Markey announced his opposition to Dr. Califf’s nomination in November and outlined a series of steps needed at the FDA to reform how it regulates addictive opioids. Senator Markey opposed Dr. Califf’s nomination to be FDA Commissioner in 2016.
“I have consistently raised concerns about the FDA’s egregious mishandling of opioid approvals and its role in enabling the current opioid epidemic,” said Senator Markey. “To date, the FDA still has not implemented many of the reforms necessary to ensure that it is fulfilling its role as our nation’s top pharmaceutical cop on the beat. I have not received any real commitment from Dr. Califf to truly reform the FDA or to learn from the failures that fueled this public health crisis. The FDA needs a leader who will center public health and implement reforms to its review of opioids, and I remain unconvinced Dr. Califf is that individual.”