On February 24, 2016, Stephen Ostroff, MD, Acting Director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement to announce that the U.S. Senate voted in support of the confirmation of Robert M. Califf, MD, to be Commissioner FDA. In the statement, Dr. Ostroff said, “Dr. Califf has demonstrated a long and deep commitment to advancing the public health throughout his distinguished career as a physician, researcher, and leader in the fields of science and medicine. He understands well the critical role that the FDA plays in responding to the changes in our society while protecting and promoting the health of the public, across the many areas we regulate—and I am confident that our public health and scientific contributions will further grow under his exceptional leadership.”
Praise From ASCO
Following the announcement ASCO applauded the confirmation, saying, “we commend the U.S. Senate for confirming Robert M. Califf, MD, as Commissioner of the FDA. Dr. Califf brings extraordinary expertise and vision to this position, and we are confident that his appointment will positively impact cancer care.
“Dr. Califf’s considerable expertise and long experience in clinical and translational medicine make him well suited to lead the FDA’s efforts to assure the safety and effectiveness of treatments and medical devices to ensure that the right treatment is delivered to the right person at the right time.
“ASCO is grateful for the leadership of HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray, and congratulates Dr. Califf on his confirmation. We look forward to working with him in his new role as FDA Commissioner.”
Dr. Califf Responds
Dr. Califf stated, “I am honored to have received the support of the U.S. Senate and the opportunity to serve as the new Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A successful FDA is a critical factor for better public health in this changing world. I look forward to further building the FDA’s excellent workforce, while relentlessly focusing on the completion of priority projects and continuing to develop the science base that we need to give consumers and patients even more confidence in their food and medical products, and reducing the harms of tobacco products, now and in the future.■
Watch future issues of The ASCO Post for an in-depth interview with Dr. Califf.