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Senate turning against FDA nominee

Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, has joined the opposition to Robert Califf’s nomination to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), threatening to filibuster Califf’s confirmation if it comes up for a vote. He is adding his voice to concerns raised by other senators about prescription drug abuse.

Manchin raised concerns about Califf’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Califf received industry funding for some of his research at Duke University. “We need to change the culture of the FDA, and that will not happen if the person at the helm is not a champion who is committed to pushing back against the pressure to continually approve new opioid medications, given the significant risks to public health,” said Manchin.

Califf has said that pharmaceutical company funding has never affected the results of his research.

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